The name for the color that tinges the depression that dogs me today comes to mind unbidden as I struggle through the heavy air to finish one more mundane chore, to start one more load of laundry.
Spring has ended. Soon will come nights the thermometer doesn’t drop and the humidity lies on my chest, threatening to crush me, when sleep would be welcome but is fitful and exhausting when it deigns to visit.
The local produce at the farmer’s market will please my eyes and taste buds. But never try to buy enough to last until the tables are again set up in the park next week, because it will rot long before then. The perfect ripeness of the best fruit set aside for breakfast can be ruined by morning.
For six months the days have slowly grown longer. Each day holding a little more sunlight to feel alive in. Morning sunlight through my east-facing window caresses my waking eyes and tells them it’s okay to open; yes, the night has ended.
We have entered the descent. Each day will be a little shorter. Until we are back to the seemingly endless days of waking in the dark and reentering the dark before dinnertime.
I’m mourning spring, I realize. I ache for the sunlight I have not yet lost but know is slipping away.
Mourning. Melancholy. The uninvited words that have made themselves mine this year. Like the stray cats I feel compelled to look after.
The golden afternoon sunlight streams through the kitchen window where it would usually make the red of the strawberries I hull gleam like jewels. Instead I see the wrinkles on my 43-year-old hands, and fuzzy mold destroying the fruit.
Eat as much strawberry shortcake as you want! I’ll tell them. Enjoy it before it all goes bad, I’ll grumble to myself.
We long for winter to end, for the snow and ice to melt. We wait for the plants to come up green, for blossom to give way to fruit. Green and white… A tinge of red… Then perfect!
Tasted… or lost to rottenness. As I think the words I wonder what God is trying to show me. The voices that distract me from Him and His Truth are persistent.
It’s not enough. Never enough. What you have will be taken. When there’s just enough light to see the next step, it will be hidden from your eyes. You will stumble. You will fall. It’s not worth getting back up. Again. It’s too hard. New bruises hurt too much. Soon you will bleed dry. It’s all just too hard.
Sometimes God’s still, small voice drowns out the distracting noise. Other times I listen too loudly. WHY WON’T YOU JUST SPEAK TO ME?!? TELL ME WHAT TO DO! HELP ME NOT FEEL SO LOST! SO SMALL! SO CONFUSED! YOU’RE A GOD OF ORDER, RIGHT?!? WHERE’S MINE?!?
Isn’t God’s patience wonderful?
And isn’t it wonderful when He smacks us upside the head?
My mother called it borrowing trouble. Why are so many of us so good at ruining today’s joy with the possible struggle or sorrow of tomorrow? As Jesus said, each day has enough trouble of its own.
I also heard the phrase cutting off your nose to spite your face. Often. How adamantly my daughter has inherited the unfortunate habit! But that’s another blog post.
Back to today. Back to this moment…
Are you living in your moment?
I’m blessed that you’ve come to share some time with me.
But maybe you’re online looking to escape your moment. Maybe you don’t have sunshine or strawberries. Maybe you have melancholy and mourning.
Maybe you’re caught in a storm.
If you’re feeling like it’s beyond your control, that’s a good thing; because now you know you need God.
Maybe you’re in pain.
I hate pain; I run from it. But when we’re willing to sit and rest in it, our eyes open and we see that He’s sitting right there with us.
He’s with us, too, in the mundane, each task an opportunity, each moment an invitation, to worship.
We only truly live when we live in this moment.