Winter contains inherent beauty. Bare limbs and blue land, clear skies and a chimerical array of constellations that seems less dim than during summer's humid nights. I'm fond of winter. But, I'm fonder of spring.
While late winter breezes whip past dried flower stalks and grasses, which the birds have cleared of lingering seeds, my eyes roam the garden for signs of warmer weather. Sage and thyme both show greener leaves in their depths. And, I also notice indigo starting to yearn to show off its vibrant flowers. Nor are those wild thorn bushes just donned in gray, for a rosiness blushes in their tips now.
February whispers garden. Do you hear it? By the end of the month, little sugar snap peas will be sown into their raised beds, along with leafy greens and similar cold-weather plants that do well in the Shenandoah Valley. I'm also yearning to start my indoor seeds, too.
Even moreso, I'm yearning to cultivate my soul's glow. Like long, deeply-felt illness, stagnation often seeps in when we least expect it. I can feel my heart longing for its awakening - for its time to shine beyond the pain and longing and bitterness that grow like weeds. Do you know the feeling, friend?
May winter's slowing lead to warmer and happier opportunities for you, too, friend. Take a moment to savor something that makes you truly happy - and then promise yourself you will share that joy with others. Don't hold back, don't resort to automatic pilot, and don't let yourself fall back into ruts. Cling desperately to God's calling and smile.
SENK is an artist and writer in the Shenandoah Valley. The blog, 52 Weeks, is an ethical contemplation on the importance of choosing public school names that are not divisive within a community. Each post is based on over eight years of research by the author. 52 Weeks is a compassionate appeal to community and school board members to not revert to the names of Confederate leaders for Shenandoah County, Va, public schools.
47 / Maintaining Public Peace
46 / Brown v. Board
45 / Rebuilding a Pro-Confederate South
44 / An Out-of-area Education
43 / Where's the 'Common Sense Consideration'?
42 / Education Without Heart
41 / Self-Preservation
40 / Free Public Schools
39 / The Mask of Defiance
38 / The Golden Door of Freedom
37 / Prejudicial to our Race
36 / Are We Compassionate?
35 / Community
34 / Need for Radical Change
33 / Bitter Prejudice
32 / Fear of 'Negro Equality'
31 / Rachel, Lashed to Death
30 / The Whim of the Court: A Look at Jacob, Stacy, Lett; March & Peter; Jeffrey & Peter
29 / Ben, Tom, Ned, Clary, & two men from the furnace
28 / The Loss of Fortune
27 / James Scott, A Free Man
26 / The Unremembered, The Unheard
25 / The American Cause
24 / Tithables for the County & Parish
23 / Satisfactory Proof of Being Free
22 / Building Community Takes Trust
21 / Jacob's Case
20 / Whose Control?
19 / Racial Classifications
18 / The Cost of Freedom in 1840
17 / Sale of Children
16 / Bequeathal of Future Increase
15 / The First Annual
14 / From a Descendant of a CSA Soldier
13 / True Americanism
12 / Slavery. A Hot Topic.
11 / Real Character
10 / Real Apologies
9 / Freedom from Fear
8 / 250 Years
7 / The Courage of Christ
6 / Whose Narratives?
5 / The 13th Amendment
4 / Symbolic Act of Justice
3 / Giving Thanks
2 / Confederate Congress
1 / Veteran's Day