On the Seasons


I’m a slow-cooker, a machine. I’m with child and only nine weeks at that – swollen, tender, and unengaged. My boys whirl in fast-motion  relationship around my slow space. They build up steam, and they laugh or fight it out. Mostly, I cradle my face in my hands and try to think non-nauseating thoughts, but even in all the green, I’m having a lot of those waves of happy, where I feel tears press into my eyes.

“How blessed we are,” I say this a lot.Three boys and a man I love, who loves me. We’re healthy. Negatives are only mild discomforts. Even then, a flash of winter fear threatens me a little, an old habit to let the cold suck all my vitamin D and smiles away. I fear it a little, but I laugh at it, too.

Don’t we all have too much Promise to be afraid of winter?

This past weekend, I was alone with Seth on a little vacation. We got lost on our winding way into the mountains of Missouri, and though I was as car-sick as I could be, we enjoyed the extra hour we spent in the car. Farms were on every side, and as we drove along the spring dotted with trout shadows, we stopped beneath a tall, mangled tree. A pair of majestic bald eagles perched there. One dropped and opened up above the road before us, and I cried.

I wouldn’t trade having been lost for much of anything.

When we got there, we shopped and we ate fine meals, and we slept in a hotel, which is always good for a marriage. Let me prescribe that to you if you’re having  a hard time in yours.

The first morning we woke there, we looked out our window on the ninth floor, and thick clouds were quickly cloaking the mountains. The lake water reflected sudden black storm. We turned on the news and heard we needed to find shelter from the storm, a possible tornado. So we made coffee, put on hats, and walked to a small table by a glass wall on the bottom floor.

We watched the rain beat down, tarps flap in wrong directions, and trees do back-bends. We talked about Grandad, beautiful women, how we’ll love until we’re old, how the grey is coming, and we know it, and we don’t care.

Blue hinted at the sky. The trees stood still, and we were still sitting there talking about love in the morning breath. It was a morning that stretched into lunch-time.

I wouldn’t trade the storm for an all-blue sky. In marriage, in life, it’s the good thing to take it all, the Winter and the Spring, to let the Promise help you see more clearly into and then beyond the season.

amberhaines
About me

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24 Comments

Kelly Sauer
Reply January 4, 2011

It is hard to be open, hard to receive the good in the storm, to watch when you fear the loss of control. But you are so right. I am glad for you, for Seth, for so much promise.

As always, your writing quiets me. Beautiful.

Robin ~ Pensieve
Reply January 4, 2011

All stories worthy of telling and re-telling demand conflict; the contrast of Season, blue skies and gray, old and young, ill and well, fast and slow...all give us something to see. Without it, I suppose lines would blur into...boredom.

p.s. Your prescription for marriage is perfect.

p.p.s. "... trees do back-bends..." <-- LOVE that image!

p.p.p.s. I love you.

Erin
Reply January 4, 2011

It seems that at least for today you got a little of your creative voice back. I'm glad. :)

Kathleen
Reply January 4, 2011

I'm in love with this.

kendal
Reply January 4, 2011

sometimes i feel like winter lurks around my edges all year long. thank you for your words.

katie
Reply January 4, 2011

Oohh, serendipity! I just started reading Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan, about stewarding the seasons of the soul, moving through these seasons of fruitfulness and fruitlessness with God. Right up this same thought alley...

By the way, blessings upon that wee babe inside. And you too, mama. What a consuming miracle-process it is to make a human. My uterus aches with the memory of it.

Ann Kroeker
Reply January 4, 2011

Any post that begins with "I am a slow-cooker, a machine" is full of promise.

This did not disappoint.

So glad you and Seth got an outing alone.

Aimee
Reply January 4, 2011

Love, love, love your imagery. But then, I always love anything you write. :) Beautiful.

Linda
Reply January 4, 2011

Beautiful imagery, wise words. From the perspective of 44 years of marriage, I can only say, "Yes Amber."

Stephen
Reply January 4, 2011

For some, the beauty of words like these and a story such as yours is almost too much to take - more incriminating yellow sun than pensive grey storm.

For some, the lonely ones, words like these are an unintended invitation to melancholy and selfish longing - a reminder of what-if or what was or what never could have been.

But that doesn't stop us from pausing here, shielding our eyes and offering a knowing half-smile and a nod and a whispered midwinter blessing...

Good for you...much good, for you.

Theresa
Reply January 5, 2011

I absolutely love your posts. Even many of those who comment on your posts are poetic. I will simply say thanks. It's always a pleasure.

Seth
Reply January 5, 2011

For those in mid-winter, there is good...

for them...

too.

I don't believe in self-actualization, health/wealth, or prosperity theology. But what I do believe is that for those who regard discipline as sanctification, there is peace and joy. Amber, it's been a good journey with you. The leaning into the rod instead of running from it has been difficult. But it's all worth it. It's where joy has been produced.

Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama
Reply January 5, 2011

Your poetry preaches, sister-friend. Thank you for this one. From all of us who have weathered the storms and woken up in hotel rooms still together -this was beauty and truth.

From one slow cooker to another - much love
Lisa-Jo

HopefulLeigh
Reply January 5, 2011

This is beautiful writing, Amber.

Mindi
Reply January 5, 2011

From a married woman who woke up in bed alone, your words helped me remember times where the sky was gray but we woke up together. Even if it is a memory, it is truth and for that I am grateful. Thank you for writing with such lovely hope.

Amber
Reply January 5, 2011

Sometimes I read my comments and they make me cry, like that one from Mindy. I can't believe anybody reads and then could be encouraged. I feel like I live in a cave.

Thank you for saying good words to me. That I could write out of this life I've been given is undeserved. You make me say thanks to Jesus.

Danelle
Reply January 5, 2011

I just stumbled upon your blog after reading a post of yours on InCourage. You are an amazing writer. . I love when someone can find the words for emotions and feelings that I often feel cannot be expressed in words. It makes my heart leap and inspires me. Thank you.

laura@life overseas
Reply January 6, 2011

Wow, just
WOW.

And I know you blush when people talk of your writing, so I won't gush here too much, except to say that
your words ring true.

Consistently.

christina parker brown
Reply January 6, 2011

Makes me want to get a hotel room!

Craig
Reply January 7, 2011

I have missed reading words written by you. Every phrase makes me a better writer.

That is all.

God Bless you, Seth, and all your babies.

Ashleigh Baker (Heart and Home)
Reply January 7, 2011

Sometimes, it's the truth and depth of the grey that makes the blue turn from seawater to emerald. All three are shades of beauty.

{Why does every paragraph you write make me catch my breath and hold it to the end? I don't know. But 'tis true.}

Misty
Reply January 9, 2011

Amber-
I don't have (make) much time for this blogging business lately but everytime I do sit down to chew on a few of my favorites, I always make my way here and I am never dissapointed. You are beautiful from the inside out. I'm thrilled to hear your good news, and blessed by your words once again. I, for one, am glad you keep coming back.

Charissa Steyn
Reply January 10, 2011

Ohhh this was so beautiful...I felt as if I was right there with you...
Aren't the seasons such a God- thing. They reveal so many different aspects of our creative God! love your writing ;)

Elora
Reply January 12, 2011

i read this last week & then immediately sent it to my husband.
i'm grateful for the grey skies pushing us together - reminding us of our heartbeat. it makes the blue skies that much sweeter.
you're beautiful, friend - so blessed to have met you via the interwebs.

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