As we moved to Tennessee, 8 years ago, it felt like we were leaving fall - with it's beautiful colors and the excitement of crisp mornings - and walking toward winter. We had a new (first) baby on the way and we were ending what had been a rich (though not without it's challenges) season in our lives. With the loss of Mama Lynn, we felt we were walking into winter, with it's time to be reflective, to mourn, to survive. In many ways, spring (and then summer) did again find us - surprise us - sharing a house with Lisa and Virginia, the birth of four amazing boys, the birth of a beloved horse, life shared with treasured friends. Then, we lost Papa Ross - winter again returned - Lisa's health began to fail her. Kris' extended family began to unravel. Kris' work became jeopardized and eventually his employment completely in question. And winter has continued, with little hint of spring. We have found time to play in the snow, see the sunlight through the clouds and even see glimpses that spring is likely to come again some day.
Each morning I awake and look to see if spring has arrived. The hope in my heart gets me out of bed, dressed, and down the stairs to start my day. Then - of late - my coffee gets me the rest of the way, as it becomes apparent that winter is yet upon us and spring is still absent. I ask (well, beg) for spring to hurry back - for Lochlan to be released from the prison in his mind, Lisa to be restored to health, for George to find a job that he is designed to do, for a home around which we can build a life - but winter remains. Incredibly, I'm only beginning to realize that we are to live in winter, not just survive it. Of course we can hope for spring, but not live in that hope alone. I need to remember to live, well, in the day I am given, in the season where that day exists. I must find the quiet and the beauty when I am surrounded by screaming (not just my own) and another mess to pick up. I must continue to write the story even as it gets carelessly deleted by tiny hands that are looking for trouble.