I secretly love winter.

Sure, I can crab and complain about it with the best of them and come February I’m over it but now, right this very moment, I love it.

I loved it Friday when I decided form over function in my shoe choice and wore my flats on my bare feet and had snow seeping into my shoes.  Not my smartest decision ever but the snow was  so fluffy and sparkly and squeaked in the perfect way when you walked that nothing else mattered.

I loved it Sunday when the air was so cold and the wind was so fierce that the branches of the poop tree actually creaked and groaned, naked against the sky.

I loved it last night when it was so cold in our room that we piled on the blankets and snuggled down in a nest for the night.

I love winter for the way it makes everything sharper.  The stars shine brighter, noises are clearer, smells are more potent.  The world comes into focus in the starkness of it all.

I mulled all of this over while leaving the radiology office this morning.  I had sat with a dry mouth and an empty mind while waiting to be called back, waiting through the exam, waiting for the doctors expertise.  In the end, things were positive and as I walked back to the car I thought about how that felt like winter – the sharpness, the nearness, the bleak.  And yet the sunshine broke through and it was dazzling and full of splendor that was almost painful.  The hopeful news seemed that much more so because of the still emptiness that surrounded it.

The good news was nearly eclipsed by the grind of the every day.  The Suburban is dead and Jac has been stressed and while reminding each other that God will provide is helpful, the moment the words leave our lips we doubt.  This afternoon I sat asking for God to show his love (as if a doctor’s smile wasn’t enough . . . ) when a card with an extremely generous gift from virtual strangers arrived. There were tears where the doubt had just been and again I considered winter.  How God can lead us to baren, empty, chilly places only to dazzle us with the sparkle of his shining love.  It’s clearer and easier to see when things are stripped away and you feel naked against the sky.

Tonight we laughed and reminisced with Randy and Elizabeth (Randibeth? Elizandy? Hoffette? It’s a work in progress. . .) around the table.  Yes, the thumbs up on my health and a large check were great but that – the company of friends and their contagious joy- was the high point of the day. They are on the other side of winter in their relationship and the growth and heady fragrances of spring are all around them.  It makes us all excited and hopeful of what is to come and reminds us that this season we are in will come to an end and turn into other things, figuratively and literally.

God is good, wherever we are. Right now that is winter and I love it.