Longing for Summer

This winter, with its heart-breaking tempests and bleakness, calls back memories of the glory of summers past. Sparkling moments, limitless possibilities, beauty everywhere, saturating my soul. Sunlit portraits flicker before me, of a season that seems beyond grasp. Forever lost in the emptiness of “someday.”

When my boot scuffs against the bare earth, with its frail covering of lacy snow, I can’t help remembering hoeing in the blistering noon sunshine. Like a piece of calico, the deep brown soil forms the backdrop for thousands of perfectly spaced spots of color – the crimson berries peering out from their leafy umbrellas. I remember the strangely wonderful feeling of the hoe, furrowing beneath the sandy surface, severing every little weed that dared show its miserable face.

After I come indoors from the cool, crisp breeze, into the overpowering heat of the coat room, I’m brought back to the sweltering greenhouse, and imaginary beads of sweat roll down my forehead. Pruning cucumbers, picking tomatoes, weeding lettuce. Whatever the task, it was sure to be hot, itchy, and endless. But oh – now that it’s over, I’d give anything to be back, alone with my thoughts and an overgrown lettuce patch.

When I walk through the silent snowy woods, bundled in enough layers for three or four of me, I long for the days when just a t-shirt and jeans would cut it. Wrestling on all those pairs of wool socks almost makes me forget about the tick-checks and poison ivy and hot, heavy chore boots.

I trudge my way to sluggish, half-frozen river, and it hardly seems to be the same one that we canoe down every Labor Day. Forlorn cattails, stripped of their furry coats, shiver in the icy breeze. They seem to have forgotten the sunshine, birdcalls, and splashing oars of day gone by, when the idyllic afternoon silence was broken for a few brief moments to allow for our parade of jolly vessels, loaded with shouting, laughing voyagers, on the journey to the annual potluck.

My mind wanders back to that day when I pop a bag of last year’s frozen sweetcorn into the microwave – a pathetic mirror of hot, fragrant corn-on-the-cob, slathered in butter and salt, with crackling burgers fresh off the grill, homemade pickles, Grandma’s baked beans, thick slices of juicy tomato, picked just that morning. A multitude of salads –potato salads, Jell-O salads, marshmallow salads, lettuce salads. Lemonade, Ginger Ale, Sarsaparilla, Squirt, and refreshing ice water. And of course bars – pans and pans of bars of every shape and kind! With these tantalizing memories comes the music – tuning banjos and guitars, the laughter of old friends being reunited, Ring-Around-A-Rosie, the voices of young and old, swelling in worship.

When the days grow cold and my heart grows numb, I gaze out the window, longing for summer. The grey sky should be blue – bluer than blue. Life should be rushing by in glorious excitement, color, and exhilaration!

One day, perhaps very soon, that summer will come at last.

via pinterest

via pinterest

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I Was Inspired

A couple years ago, I was an insecure, shy 8th grade girl, who had just left a life and friends across the world and returned “home” to the land of my heritage. I was terrified of all the beautiful, self assured Americans around me, and I longed to acquire a dreadful case of Scarlet Fever or some other sort of mysterious wasting away, so I could hide at home like an invalid from literature.

Why was I so afraid? Well, it was fashion. I was 5’10” and about size 2 or 4, and it seemed literally impossible to find a single outfit that fit my lanky frame, looked reasonably stylish, and was modest enough by my parents’ standards. In other words, it was hopeless.

One day I stumbled across a lovely fashion blog by a wonderful Christian girl, called Accordion to Kellie. She loved books, beauty, writing, adventure, history, and music! A kindred spirit at last! It mattered little to my lonely, frustrated heart that she was a complete stranger, and that she had no earthly clue that I even existed! I was inspired!

From that day on, I began having assurance in who I was. I felt that I was no longer the only one on the planet I could relate to, and slowly, with God’s help and encouragement, I began to discover that who I was wasn’t limited by what I wore, or what everyone thought of me. Kellie’s cheery, beautifully photographed posts of country life and fashion thrilled and inspired me, and one day I realized that something had changed!

I no longer dreaded seeing people! Rather, I had a growing circle of dear friends and I was not afraid to make new ones!

When I moved to Indonesia in 9th grade, I was not the shy, insecure girl I had been. I thrived there, making precious friendships, leaping out of my comfort zone, going beyond goals I had never dreamed of achieving. I climbed mountains, learned to play the guitar, acted in The King and I, went from barely dog-paddling to joining the school Swim team, won 3rd in the Cross-Country meet (it wasn’t exactly the stiffest competition in the world), got straight A’s for a whole year, played two seasons of Varsity basketball, played piano on the worship team, learned photography, discovered the wonderful world of Pinterest, took flute lessons, won 3rd in the GNS Spelling Bee, read piles of wonderful books, learned Indonesian and Japanese, and finally was brave enough to be myself. I wore what I loved, let my hair down, decided to be who I had dreamed of being, and had deep, meaningful conversations (and pathetically sarcastic ones 😉 It was the best, and the worst, a fabulous swirling whirl-wind of excitement and emotion. I adored it.

Then last month, right in the middle of our 2nd year there, we moved away, back to America. I was crushed.

In fact, I still am. It’s still heartbreaking to hear from my friends across the world; to realize that they are still going on in life, without me. But I don’t want to let sadness and loneliness crush me. I want to learn to live abundantly, even through hardship. I hope that through this blog I will be able to touch someone. If my words inspire anyone — like that unsure 8th grade girl that I was not long ago — I will have succeeded!