Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm a Winter

The other day Madame Samm wrote a really interesting post about the seasons of our lives.  You can read it here.  Since I'm in the 50 and beyond category she says I'm in the winter of my life.  Others, depending on their ages, are either springs, summers, or falls.  I don't disagree with her at all - in fact, I think she's right on target.  I used to be afraid of winter.  I don't like the cold and I don't like the dark and that's what I thought it was.  But now that I'm here I see winter as sort of like a drive in the country and I think winter deserves a bit of explanation because a lot of people, when they hear winter, think of it like this:
Sort of like we're standing by the side of the road, most of our leaves gone, rather sparse old things, a bit blurry.  And it's true that our hair is thinner and some of us are a bit bent and we don't see as good as we used to.  But in truth it's more like this:

There are some unexpected spots of color that show up when you least expect it!  There's a lot of green there, and certainly a few brown leaves, but also some gold and orange and red.  Those are the times someone in the winter of their lives stands up on a stage and belts out a song that makes you cry, or walks to the front of the room in the senior citizen center and dances an incredible jitterbug, or signs up for a computer class or volunteers for a mission in Africa, or holds a sleeping grandchild on her lap or makes the most beautiful quilt you've ever seen.  Some of the most beautiful landscaped yards are done by winters and the best cookies are most certainly baked by winters and the most welcoming homes have a winter standing in the door beckoning you in.  You see, we've learned to let our pride go so we can embrace the best of ourselves.  We've learned that it doesn't matter if the furniture is dusted or the dishes washed...people don't care what our house looks like, they just want to feel welcomed and wanted.  And loved.  Loved first of all.

In all honesty we still have some mighty big curves in our lives.

You summers and falls think you have curves but ours are a bit closer and coming closer all the time.  We have health issues.  We sometimes can't bend over to tie our shoes so we've gone back to the springs we used to be and chosen shoes with velcro.  We have to run the confusing gauntlet of social security and medicare.  We are often shuffled aside by the summers and falls of our lives because of their busyness.  And we hear them saying it might be time to leave our homes and our things and our what-we've-done-forevers to live in a place where someone is always available to help and there will never again be any alone.  Alone is not a dirty word ya'll.  Oh, it might be a little scary to those of us who've never experienced it but when you  have your faith you're never really alone. We also know we still have a few  mountains to climb.

And they seem to be coming up fast.  There will come a day that I won't be able to drive any more.  And an even worse day when my hands won't let me sew any more.  I might not be able to hear well and diapers might show up in my shopping cart.  But we winters we're stronger than you think.  We know that right now we're in a beautiful peaceful place - far more beautiful than spring or summer or fall.  We feel like our lives are sort of like this:

We're a cool, shady place for you to rest when you're tired and need some loving.  We have mountains and valleys behind us that we can tell you about - things that will help you when you're crossing your own valleys or climbing your own mountains.  We have lots to offer to the springs and summers and falls that we know and love and to the ones we haven't met yet.

So, Madame Samm, you are so right and you said it so well.  You said, "you have more wrinkles to your smile".  If I might be so bold I would add that we have the most beautiful smiles and the laughter that comes straight from the belly and the joy that bubbles over and spills onto all those around us.  I see our joy in our blog posts and in our strolls through WalMart when we speak to everyone and admire the children, and I see our faith in our walks through the cemetary tending the graves of loved ones gone before us and I am so, so glad to be a winter.


kimbuktu said...

You have a lovely attitude about growing older. I admit I am not there yet, in attitude I mean.

I do love the promise in Psalm 92:
Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

Thanks for your post, I enjoyed it.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I love you seasons post and how it like us!

Angie said...

The thing is we winter have God's most precious gift of all: time to BE. As a matter of fact, it's only now we realise we had it all the time. We were just too busy to notice.

Let's rename all Senior Cits "Winters"! There may be snow on the roof but there's fire in the grate.

Needled Mom said...

Beautiful post! I am right up there with you and wouldn't change a thing.

Patricia said...

I love this! As I gazed at your highway photos I had to relate them to what is going on in our lives. Our family has lost one of our winter members.

Best wishes for a lovely day!

Lena . . . said...

WONDERFUL post. I was lamenting to Ole the other day about times gone by and how much fun we used to have doing things. Not that we still don't have fun, it just seems to take more energy. Your post made me feel much better. Thanks again.
PS: I would love to share your post with a couple very special friends if that's okay?

Quilt Hollow said...

Enjoyed...I too am Winter in two months.

Marge said...

Winters rule! I love the freeing feeling of being a senior citizen! I can do what I want, and don't have to do what I don't want. Most of the blogs I have found that I really enjoy, belong to other winters. So I think we need to form a club.... Winters Rule Club!


Molly said...

You just made me glad to be one too! Well said Marlene!

Alice Grace said...

Very beautifully written!
Thanks for coming over and joining my giveaway!

Jacquie said...

So true. I find myself thinking and feeling some of those things... even though I'm not quite a winter yet.

I love to hear your thoughts, Marlene.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I am a winter too - loved your blog and pictures. Thank you so much/

Jody Blue said...

What a lovely post, it brighten my day! You have a gift with words.