Hope is found in the smell of spring.

It's the middle of December.  I'm thinking...scarves and snowmen, gloves and puffs of white when I breathe. Today was over 65 degrees outside.

Normally, I'd be lamenting that there isn't snow on the ground, or at the very least upset that the weather can't just stay consistent.  Today, as I was walking outside with a gentle, warm breeze brushing my cheeks, I felt...refreshed.

The bizarre weather was as if for one day, spring had come to say, "Hello, I'm not really supposed to be here yet, but I'm about to go on break in the southern hemisphere, and I was thinking about you, and I thought there'd be no harm in stopping by."

As if spring perhaps knew that this winter might threaten to freeze my veins, to frost over my heart, to slow my streams to trickles.  And so spring, the bearer of new life, the season of blooming cherry blossoms and returning songbirds, of the ground warming and softening underneath our footsteps, of green overtaking and surpassing all the brown of winter's deadness, has come to bring a breath of that life, that newness, to store with me, with us, as we move into the cold of winter.

At one point I closed my eyes as I walked...I ignored the red and the green, the tinsel and ivy, I ignored the leafless skeleton trees, everything that would tell me that winter is looming...and felt the warmth take my hand, and spring filled my nostrils with the air of hope.  And I breathed hope in, and hope found those memories that have faded and fallen from the branches, raked into a pile on the side of the road with the other parts of my life I have left for dead.

I watched my checkered Vans tread the sidewalk, step after step, and something inside me began wanting to hope fiercely, the beginnings of a fire grasping for kindling to stay alive.  Hope for what, I'm not sure.  But sometimes hope doesn't need a particular channel to do its work.  Hope just needs us to let it burn.

But now, Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7

~ hold on to hope. ~