Photo by gordonwd on Morgue File.
Theoretically, summer will return to the polar-vortex-battered Northern Hemisphere. What are you looking forward to doing this summer? If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, what are your fondest memories of Summer past?
This has been quite a long, cold winter. I live in the southern part of the Northern Hemisphere. We are not used to having long, sustained winters. Winter for the southern USA is usually a couple of weeks of below 50° weather. Usually our only glimpse of snow is on television. We are used to hot, humid summers; but cold winters do not happen frequently in these parts.
This winter has been the big exception however. I have lived other places, most notably for this discussion Massachusetts, where I experienced two nor’easters one winter.
I am a person who does not mind winter. In fact, I like winter. Winter is my second favorite season of the year, only behind Autumn. I like cold weather. I like the clothing that goes with it. I like long-sleeved shirts and coats, scarfs and gloves. I like dark cold nights, sitting in a warm place (which is an important must to all this!) and looking out the window at the bluster of winter. I love snow falling and seeing the earth covered in virginal white.
This winter though has tested my love. It is like the person who loves chocolate, but eats entirely too much and becomes sick from it. I still love winter, but I am ready for spring to make an appearance. It has slowly begun to do so over the last week or so. But, winter this year has been stubborn. Its grips have been felt through the last month. So far, April has proven to be a bit warmer.
As far as summer, I am not a summer person. My father loves summer. He loves 90° plus weather. He loves being outdoors, working and sweating in the heat. I do not mind some summer weather. It is however my least favorite of all the seasons. Growing up in the southern US, I am accustomed to long, hot, seemingly interminable summers.
What makes summer unbearable here is the humidity. The humidity is always above 90% it seems. It’s a wet, sweltering heat. It is the kind of heat where you walk outdoors, after a nice cool shower, take a few steps to the car and you are already sweaty and sticky. It is not a pleasant feeling! You feel as though you need a perpetual shower.
But, summer is not all bad. As a kid, I loved summers if for no other reason that it meant I was out of school. As a kid summers seemed to last forever. There was the staying over at a friend’s house, or vice versa, staying up late and playing all day in some make-believe world. It was about swimming pools and baseball; fireworks and sandals; beaches and vacations; warm mornings and late sunsets.
Last summer was an abnormally mild summer. On July 4th the temps were in the 70’s. Seventy degree weather on Independence Day in this part of the world is unheard of, to say the least. It is never under 90° and the humidity is always at or near 100%. But last summer was the exception. It was a relatively cool summer all season. I suppose it was a hint at the exceptionally cold winter to come.
I am hoping this summer follows last summer’s lead. However, I am sure this summer will be even hotter than normal to make up the difference.
Over the past few years I have started gardening. This is what typically comes to my mind now when I think of summer (other than the heat and humidity!). I have already planted the early garden. I will plant the rest mid-month or so.
I am thankful for the seasons. If I were to be completely honest, I would say I love all seasons. Yes, some more than others, but I am a seasonal sort of guy. I like my winters cold, my summers warm, and spring and fall cool. I would prefer to have longer falls and winters though. If I was in control of the weather, I would make summer last about a month or so and that would be it.
God has given us the seasons as a sign of his creation and sovereignty. The summer reminds me of the warmth of God’s love and grace. If I visit a beach, I see and hear the testimony of his greatness and the wonder of his creation. As I feel the radiance of the sun, I am reminded of the radiance of the Son, who is the Light of the world. In fall, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness during times and seasons of change. I am reminded of God’s faithfulness to lead me through the times of waning summers in my life, when fall sets in and things change. Those times when things come to an end and the leaves in my life begin to fall. I am also reminded of God’s beauty in creation with the vibrant colors. In winter, I am reminded of God’s warmth, taking me in his arms, under his wings and sheltering me from the cold and dark of this world. I am reminded of the love and warmth of the light of Christ in my life and those who share my faith in the only, unique Son of the Living God. In spring, I am reminded of the blessing of God’s renewal. I am reminded of life and resurrection. I focus on Easter, Resurrection Sunday, the triumph of Christ over sin and death. I am reminded of God’s plan and goodness in bringing renewal . . . in bringing new creation from the cold winters in life.
As many have said, God is there and he is not hiding, nor is he silent.
Father, Creator and Lord, thank you for your creation. Thank you for the seasons that teach us of your wonder, grace and love. Thank you that you are sovereign and omnipotent. Thank you for being a God who has and does reveal himself. You have revealed yourself in our history, in your holy word and in the creation around us. Thank you for revealing yourself in holy trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I give you praise, honor and adoration. You, and you alone, are the one, true God. So Father, now help me be mindful of your goodness and faithfulness. May it be to your glory and praise, forever and ever. I pray this in the name of the One, Unique Son of God, my Lord, Savior and God, Jesus Christ. Amen.