Snowflakes dance and twirl through the air as the capricious wind blows them this way and that. The wind chimes tinkle madly, and the bare limbs on the trees bend to the whim of the wind. Winter has been showing his fierce teeth the past few days, with icy blasts, snow showers and freezing temperatures.
Although February is with us still, the weather is more like March with its changeable moods. All at once the sun will pop through and blue skies are revealed before the snowflakes start flying again. The sun has little warmth, however and the bitter wind chills a person to the bone.
The chipmunk that scurried along the rock wall during those warm days a short time ago has disappeared; gone no doubt into the deep recesses of his warm burrow. We, too, seek the sanctuary of our homes, to curl up in an armchair near the blessed warmth of our stoves, venturing out as little as necessary.
We are content to watch the outdoors through our window, and enjoy the antics of the birds as they throng the bird feeder. There are at least six pairs of cardinals that lord it over the smaller birds, and the bright red males festoon the rose of Sharon bush, turning into some exotic blooming tree.
The black-capped chickadees dart in and out, along with the juncos and wrens. We get so much pleasure out of these tiny feathered creatures that eat together in harmony, until the arrogant blue jays descend and scatter the flock. As I watch these little birds I realize, and not for the first time, the secret of contentment. It is to appreciate the small things, to find pleasure in the simple blessings.
I realize that most of my daydreams will never come true, many places that I once longed to visit I will never be able to, and I'm just a tadpole in a small puddle. However, I want to enjoy my life to the best of my capabilities. I am truly blessed. I have a family who surrounds me with loving care, a husband who anticipates my every need and takes good care of me. I have granddaughters and nieces who pet and pamper me. What else do I need?
The Apostle Paul in the book of Philippians states, "For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." I have noticed that many people who possess much of this world's goods are not content. They seem to be always striving for more and more and are not satisfied. I think that only God makes us truly content.
Sometimes I wonder that my readers may think, because I always try to look on the bright side of every situation, that I never have any troubles. That is far from the truth of course. We all go through trials and tribulations in this life, because we are human. But I have found the One who carries us through the heartaches and burdens of this life.
Someone sent this poem a long time ago, and it is very good.
-- Author Unknown
I learn as the years roll onward
And leave the past behind,
That much I have counted sorrow
But proves our God is kind;
That many a flower I longed for
Had a hidden thorn of pain,
And many a rugged by-path
Led to fields of ripened grain.
The clouds but cover the sunshine,
They cannot banish the sun,
And the earth shines out the brighter
When the weary rain is done,
We must stand in the deepest sorrow
To see the clearest light,
And often from wrong's own darkness
Comes the very strength of right.
We must live through the weary winter