It's snowing today.
The snow has been falling all morning, following the icy rain that preceded it. I pray for those who have to be on the roads.
It is pretty to look at. I'm glad I can be inside this morning. It is a good day for making soup. Actually a six year old in my life requested it, and Grandma is listening. So chicken noodle soup is simmering on the stove, alongside a roasted butternut squash soup which I love.
The mail person delivered our mail on time today, despite the elements, and guess what arrived??
The seeds I had ordered!
There are moments in the heat of August when I am fighting drought and bugs and am sure I don't have a green thumb. I don't have a strong back and have an aversion to the strong summer sun, and a neglected garden is often the result.
But just the other day, I thawed some tomato sauce I had made from ingredients from my own garden, and enjoyed it immensely with a spaghetti squash that we had saved. I may not be an overly successful gardener, but there is great joy in what we do produce. And it is true, we learn what works and what doesn't.
Every winter I'm tempted by those seed catalogs and all the promises they entice me with. Last year half of my seeds didn't germinate. Perhaps it was my own neglect. Likely so.
But it was with excitement I opened my mail and found... the promise of spring!
I was thinking about hope this morning when I opened my devotional email I receive from the Henri Nouwen society. He differentiates the meaning of optimism and hope in a way I found truly helpful.
He says: "Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things-the weather, human relationships, the economy, the political situation, and so on-will get better. Hope is the trust that God will fulfill God's promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom. The optimist speaks about concrete changes in the future. The person of hope lives in the moment with the knowledge and trust that all of life is in good hands."
I am very hopeful that I will have a good garden this year. Perhaps optimistic is a better word. It depends on weather, time I give it, conditions, and other factors.
Hope, perhaps is a more restful posture. It is trusting God while doing our part. The outcome becomes less important. When I put my life in the hands of my Creator I can relax. This is a daily learning for me, to enjoy life today, every day, knowing God is with me, God is for me, God loves me.
So I can plant my seeds with joy, and leave the results to the Creator.