A number of weeks ago, I talked Joel into going out with me to walk Molly. He's my indoorsy child who understands the joys of a mug of hot chocolate and a good book, (yes, and the thrills of winning first place on a Mario Kart race track). I was happy when he said, "Yes." I love to hear his thoughts, his perspective. I was glad to have him to myself for a time to talk and be together.
It was the middle of the beginning of Mud Season. Chilly outside. Snow on the hilltops. Streams of melted snow flowing down from the hilltops. (Such a beautiful sound.) Last autumn's dead straw-colored grasses and gray Aspen leaves reappearing from under the snow. Wet mud everywhere waiting for the new grasses of spring to sprout. Spring wind blowing, making it feel colder than it really was, so unlike the still cold of the winter months. The wind seemed to be awaking the branches of the trees. "Wake up. Winter is over. It is time to grow." And growing, I am finding, is very, very hard work.
Molly didn't like the mud at first. She didn't want to get her paws wet. She seemed to be frustrated that her beloved snow was leaving. We had a huge snow drift behind our home that she would run and up and down. She even figured out that she could put her front paws straight out in front of her and slide down the drift as if she were sledding. She stubbornly ran and sat on her dwindling snow drift until it crushed under her weight, and one day it had melted away completely. She walked into the backyard that day looking for the familiar, and instead found cold, soggy earth. Molly, is growing, too.
Now she has discovered that with melted snow comes the joy of grasses, leaves, twigs. I have never seen a dog more captivated by a rock or a stick or a ball of roots. Then I remember she is a terrier. "Terrier" from the Latin terra, meaning "earth". Now she buries her head in mounds of tall grasses, drinks from cold streams, and comes home with burrs in her fur. One day she walked into a bush and walked out with hundreds of them stuck to her. They were everywhere. She wore a full beard of them. They got inbetween her paw pads, making her cry whenever she took a step. Poor little Mollers. We sat together, and painstakingly, I removed them all. Yes, growing is painful.
Joel and I walked with Molly that day, still bundled up in jackets and me in gloves. We stopped and looked out over the side of a hill where water stood and long grasses lay.
"Like a Van Gogh painting," he said as he stared. And he was right. My smart boy. He was the one of my three children who most understood the art lesson entitled "Texture". He saw the texture in the fields of Van Gogh's paintings. He expressed it in rows and rows of geometrically-drawn fields when he drew his own interpretation of The Starry Night, my favorite of all paintings ever.
Van Gogh's texture was a summer texture with bright golds and vivid greens. Mud Season texture is a drab texture with damp grays and dry wheats. But I can't help but look with expectancy and hope at that drab. Today, weeks later, that same hillside is covered in lush, grassy green. It has come alive again. I loved winter. I really did. But looking out my windows today, I am crazy in love with what finally looks like spring. Growth is so painful, but with hope it produces a beauty that I cannot, with my simple words, express.
"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him." - Psalm 62:5
Nothing missing. Nothing broken.