Winter has been holding on.

We are ready for warmth and light breezes. Light and color. Sunshine and flowers.

It has been windy and cold even here in the south. And just last week there was snow falling in northern places untouched yet by spring.

Why is snow so much sadder in April than in December? (If there is snow in heaven, it is the December kind, full of joy.)

It really doesn’t matter if the calendar says it is spring. We don’t want to see pictures or have memories. It doesn’t help to know the date in our heads.

We need the warmth on our skin.

I think about the seasons of life. Some bursting with joy when all seems new. Surrounded by happiness; untouched by pain. Safe and golden and quiet.

And others we remember because our shelter has been lifted, and we are suddenly vulnerable. Assaulted by fear or disappointment. Noise and confusion and darkness.

Sometimes this season lingers awhile, and it’s easy to feel that it is here to stay. We wonder why we are left in winter when the calendar says spring.

Is spring the date on the calendar, or is it the warm breeze blowing?┬áIt is both, although there are seasons that don’t feel as truthful.

God is the truth we know. He ordains the seasons–their length, their harshness, their end. We know that winter will end because He ordained it. He set the earth in motion, and it is bound by His time–mysterious but known, varied but sure.

My mom is in a winter season. After a recent fall, she can’t seem to rally. Congestive heart failure and full-time oxygen and hospice nurses going in and out.

Sorrow, but with it, hope.

I don’t want her to let go, and I miss her already. But I know she is tired of winter.

She’s always loved flowers, and I can imagine the gardens in heaven. The lingering fragrance and quiet beauty of peace-filled walks. Light spilling through trees. I can imagine an eternal spring, the fullness of it, its music silent but stunning. I can feel the soaking warmth.

I can see her throwing off her winter coat and entering in. White-robed and clean because of Jesus. Safe and home at last. Loved and whole and young again.

One journey over, but living just begun.

And I can see Marissa showing her all the special places, all the new flowers.

I can see Marissa showing her the wonder of spring.

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Corinthians 5:1

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:22-24