The Shepherd's Heart/Frantic activity of the season causes yearning for solitude

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wow! I just turned my head and all of a sudden it's time to think about Christmas.

The turkey leftovers are running low, college football is winding down, the weather guy is talking about a major winter storm -- just maybe -- and the stores are once again doing all they can to separate us from our hard earned money.

Everywhere I look people are running hither and yon (more than usual) with calendars filled with holiday-type activities. We'll experience concerts, lighting ceremonies and parades as well as parties, teas and other social get-togethers. The jolly old elf will make his official "first appearance" at least a dozen times over the next week or so now that he completed his annual "bringing up the rear" in the big Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City.

The older I get it seems the seasons tend to blur from one to another without so much as a "thank you" or a "how do you do."

The hustle and bustle gets to be too much, at times, and I find myself longing for the quiet of the hills in wintertime. I can close my eyes and see the snow and ice glistening on the pines as new flakes begin to fall. Outside, the world settles into a hush, as if to say, "Shhhh! Winter is here. Let's enjoy the freshness and newness while it lasts."

I know most of us get tired of winter when the car doors freeze shut and the ice piles up on the steps. We get angry when the snow plow pushes a hefty drift across our driveways and we have to shovel a path before we can get the cars out. We are frustrated when winter lingers and springs seems so very, very far away.

But I would hazard a guess that not many people who look out their windows at the first snow of the season fail to turn to someone and ask, "Isn't it beautiful?"

Someday we'll spend Christmas Eve nestled in a cabin somewhere in the Rockies, hopefully watching the snow fly outside while the fire glows and cracks softly in the fireplace. We'll enjoy the quiet with family and share smiles of love and comfort. And we'll wish it might never end.

But, before you know it, Christmas will be a memory and the long wait from New Year's to the sunny days of spring will once again be our portion.