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The Promise of Green

Positively Speaking

By 6:35 AM the sun has risen through my office situated in the front of the house and begun to rotate through to the long, high up window in my bedroom that allows it to shine on my face . It’s a work day, but I am not due at work for two and a half more hours . I allow myself the luxury of staying in bed until the sun has risen almost past the window casing and I can feel it no more. I do not move. This is, literally, a golden moment.

It is not a warm sun. It is a just a bright sun. That alone is rare. It has been a long, long winter. Children cannot seem to be free of colds. Adults are fighting bronchitis and pneumonia like they were common illnesses. People tell tales of repeated antibiotic regiments. We are all ready for this constant, incessant, unending, plague-like rain to end.

For one brief day it will. We will bask and talk of possibly remembering where the sun block is and get outside chores done or inside ones that require light.

Days pass. The rain continues and then again, one brief day of sun, a bit warmer now. It’s a Saturday and by golly I’m going to wash the slider and kitchen windows. Newspaper and chemical that shall not be named in hand, I spray and scrub. It’s a thing of beauty to look through a clean window. For many moments I sit and enjoy the view. I find myself looking out the window for the sheer pleasure of it. I enjoy standing at the kitchen sink. Deep sigh. A brief respite.

Out those windows, the trees and shrubs that are either evergreen or are leafing out offer a palatte of sixteen shades of green. By July surely the forecasters will be sounding dour about a need for rain. By August they will likely be counting how many days it’s been without moisture. They will kavetch. That’s not quite a complaint right? Perhaps the word would be grouse.

I love this promise the verdant shades offer. There is the promise of extended daylight. The promise of visits from family who find rest in our little residential resort Island. The promise of celebrations, of getting things done we didn’t think we could do but find we will with the renewed energy that comes with not having to use artificial light. Natural light is so much more powerful.

This season reminds me how much I like process. I like the journey. I like the ‘getting there’ part. I’m not afraid of change I’ve discovered. In fact I wake each day with three prayers on my heart:

"Teach me to see what I’m not seeing". "Show me what I can change". "Offer me opportunities to increase my ability to Love".

The difficult truth is that the sixteen shades of green would not be there were it not for endless days of rain. Because of the rain I see new growth before me. Because of the rain the air smells like fresh soil all the time. It beckons new in a world that had died for many months.

The metaphor is too obvious to point out. Soon the summer will come; about eight short weeks for us, maybe less. We will harvest vegetables that were able to survive the drowning of Spring. We will gather on those long nights to dance outdoors or listen to bands that make our feet move in rhythm involuntarily.

Children will splash in pools till they turn wrinkled and blue. Teenagers will embrace summer jobs that fill them with a sense of maturity. The rest of us will linger in the chores that make our lives more pleasant on a daily basis be they work or maintenance, recreation or creative pleasures. Festivals and fairs will lighten the country’s mood.

How do we hang onto promise? How do we stay suspended in that state where we cannot yet see the goodness we will embrace but know is there? How do we grow comfortable with the constant change that pushes us outside our comfort levels and moves us more deeply into relationships and events that add meaning and depth to life?

Surely this past Winter and Spring have been a test.. I too have said, "In the forty ( fifty, twenty, lifetime… you fill in the blank) I have lived in the Northwest I don’t ever remember it being this bad.

And then I look out those clean windows to that exceptionally diverse, brilliant green view in front of me and think, ‘Ya know….maybe it was worth it." For the green before me speaks more vibrantly of the summer that lays beyond. Sweet Promise of Green stay with us all in our hearts till harvest.


What would you say if you had to share your faith story?  Deborah will offer a workshop at Vashon Presbyterian Church Saturday 25 June 2011 from 10-4. Lunch is included. No charge but a freewill offering will be taken to defer costs. For questions and registration call 206.853.2388.