What a wet foggy morning it is! The temp is only about 58 degrees, the sun is hiding somewhere in the mist and everything outside is wet. Too yucky to do anything outside! I look out from my breakfast table window onto my backyard. Past the patio table I see all the brush that Kim cleaned out of the back jungle just before he had to return to work. There it lays on the grass…trashing up the backyard. The jungle still isn’t under control though it was beginning to take on a cleaner look. Lots of tall, out of control wild trees had grown up throughout the summer months like Jack’s beanstalk. If my back wasn’t in such bad shape I’d get out there and at least move the brush to the side of the road. Then, the city guys could haul it off for us.
Then, standing at my kitchen sink, I look out the window and see overgrown bushes obstructing my view of the street and neighborhood. I enjoy watching the little kids walking home from school or keeping an eye out for anything interesting going on in the streets. Now, all I see is an occasional brown bird or lizard in the branches of the green leaves outside my window. I just realized that the leaves on those bushes never turn brown. I supposed that should be a glimmer of hope to know there is still life out there.
Ever since we moved into this house about 11 years ago, the yard has been a trial for us to maintain. It is a large corner lot and very pretty when it is trimmed and mowed. There used to be 21 trees on this lot, but with hurricanes, bugs, and the occasional roots just letting go, we might have about 11 trees left. Previous owners had planted several bushes and scrubs on the grounds showing their love of yard work. Kim, not a fan of yard work, but wanting to save money, immediately vetoed the use of the lawn service the previous owner had offered. At first, Kim did a pretty decent job of keeping the grass mowed. That was until he began to have some health issues. Then, job requirements were taking up a lot of his time and in general, he was not able to keep up with the always growing grass. One day Kim hired a yard crew to catch up in the overgrown yard. They were so quick and neat, edging the sidewalks, trimming below the tree trunks and clearing the clippings from sight. Even the jungle which was not part of the deal, looked better. Also, it wasn’t as costly as Kim had thought. It was worth it just to get it done neatly and spare Kim the trouble. Even with Kim’s health problems under control, he has continued to hire a crew to work in our yard.
Now in the winter months the yard is somewhat dormant, while it waits for spring. The yard guys are not coming since there is virtually no grass to cut. The grass is brownish in color and the weeds miraculously show themselves by turning very brown in contrast to the green bushes they once entangled. There is still much more lovely green color than one would expect in January. The birds that have flown here from the colder winter temperatures up north, will gather here and there to nibble the red berries clustered in the plants. A fun sight to see is when the blackbirds or robins are returning home up north and they stop over in our yards to eat. The chirping birds fill the lawns like traveling companions stopping at a diner along their journey.
Even though my yard is a trashcan of dead weeds and leaves now, it still has much to offer. The squirrels while in a sleepy mode, appear to enjoy running about gathering the nuts or seeds they can find. For now their dinner is visible, unhidden in the spaces where once leaves had covered their food. The birds and squirrels make a fuss high in the branches above my cats walking out into the back jungle on expedition. Being just far enough from city noises, my neighborhood is normally quiet with only the occasional sounds of playing children. But on a damp, foggy day like today, even the sounds of the nearby school are abnormally silent as I’m sure the children are inside reading and working math problems. Life goes on.
One of these days soon, I’m sure that Kim will find the time to get in the yard and complete his job. I hope he can do that before the new spring foliage begins to sprout making the task more difficult. However, even if the dead weeds, branches and grass doesn’t get cleaned up anytime soon, it’ll be okay. These gray gloomy sort of days gives me a chance to reflect on life. It’s in these times I think about life, loved ones who are gone and I’m reminded of a great day of redemption to come. God in his glory and Christ on the throne are looking out for us all. The Holy Spirit living inside of us gives me hope of a brighter day. The Spirit through God has it all under control even in a gloomy world of brown and gray.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24 NIV)