Tuesday, November 26, 2013
We took the girls to the Arboretum in Yakima the other day when my parents were visiting. It is a gorgeous open space with a lot of trees. Not quite park, more like wildlife sanctuary though there isn't much in the way of wildlife beyond birds and squirrels. These pictures are from that trip.
We were back there yesterday, on a field trip with a small group of the Kingdom Kids, and the leaves had almost all browned, crisped, and fallen. Everywhere we walked, our boots crunched the remains of the summer. The little pond was crusted over with ice, geese flew by overhead, calling their farewells, and I felt a nostalgic zing as I realized that winter is really here, with temperatures barely getting above freezing even when the sun is at its peak. Now is the time that I again trek out each morning to the chicken coop with my boiling tea kettle to melt the water that is frozen solid. Cheeks sting from the cold and little girls only play outside for a few minutes before clamoring at the door that it is too cold. Snow, of course, would change all of that and make the cold outdoors into a magical fairyland, but we have yet no sign of that long-hoped-for gift.
It reminds me of the need I - we all - have for rest. In the frantic work of each day, it is easy to forget or ignore the natural rhythm of things, but God has designed us to work hard and long and then rest. To drop our leaves and curl up against the cold and sleep for a time. I think about this often as I drive by barren brown fields and dozing orchards. Seasons have greater significance when you leave the city; the entire landscape changes. Suddenly I can see miles further when the corn has been cut down and the hops vines sheared from their roped ceilings. The fields are ripe for the harvest, but the laborers are few; does that mean the laborers don't bear in mind their need for rest and replenishment in its season? Something I am trying to keep in view as we approach winter, the "quietest" time of life for us on the Rez, especially after Christmas.