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2010 started with two serious health crises, one for my dad and one for a close and long-time friend, during which the winter seemed even more bleak and colorless. North Carolina had an unusually long cold spell, even getting multiple snows, made more ominous with the daunting news we were processing daily for many weeks. Michigan received a lot of snow and even colder temperatures. The distance between our house and theirs grew greater every day as the complexity of the two situations made a spontaneous visit difficult. We longed to be there, but all advice and requests were for us to wait.

This month, however, the timing was right and we traveled there to see them both. As we left, the day here was mild and warming. And in Michigan, all the snow had recently melted. We saw my dad, who is recovering well and he and my mom are in very good spirits. During a game of cards we played with my son who was also visiting them, we laughed until we were nearly in tears. We also visited our close friends. We enjoyed dinner and the beginning of a conversation with them about the experience from their points of view. He beat incredible odds and is now home regaining strength every day. It was a much needed and awaited visit.

Upon returning to North Carolina five days later, the cherry trees were in full bloom. Pansies were out in bright colors and the lawns green. I’m awaiting the breathtaking wisteria to start covering the landscape within weeks. The timing of this visual change couldn’t have been more appropriate.

Spring has always reminded me of renewal and new birth. One of my favorite songs is “Every Season” by Nichole Nordeman, a Christian artist. It is beautifully written and sung. It starts out with lyrics about summer and rotates through the seasons throughout the song. The last verse about spring has these lyrics, which are a perfect anthem for me today:

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As you are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring