“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.”—Smokey Robinson
Last winter was a tough one. Lots of snow, wind, cold temperatures—if it could be bad weather, last winter had a lot of it. Friends and neighbors have assured me that “this was the worst winter in (insert a large number here) years!”
While it was annoying, it didn’t bother me too much. My wife, on the other hand, is a warm weather lover. She was not impressed.
In Texas there’s a popular bumper-sticker that says “I wasn’t born here, but I came as quick as I could.” You could say that about the Huston’s and Idaho. We’ve been bouncing in and out of Idaho for decades. Now we’ve let the air out of the moving truck tires, and are staying put. Happily so, at least for me. I suspect my wife is still withholding judgment.
I understand. Last winter sort of imprinted itself on her. When she thinks of Idaho, that’s what she’s thinking of.
But now, after a late start, the weather is magnificent. Nevertheless, when my wife sees green fields and sunshine, she can’t escape the feeling that it will be gone too soon, with winter just around the corner.
I get it. And she’s right. Winter is just around the corner. But once we’re in the middle of winter, it’ll be springtime on deck, waiting for its turn at bat.
Long time Idaho residents are able to look through the window of winter and see the green Sawtooths in their mind’s eye. Or hear the feeble, squeaky call of spring ducklings in the silence of snow. They can feel the freedom of jet skis as they watch the corn and potatoes grow.
This works with people, too.
I haven’t made a secret that my wife are on the high side of sixty years old. We have been married over forty years. An unlikely pair at the start, but it stuck. And now we’ve finally learned something only our fellow oldies understand.
It’s absurdly obvious to me that my wife is scorchingly beautiful. It’s true that there just might be a single wrinkle, maybe two, that she carries these days, but when I see her I see the girl that stopped me in my tracks—the blond pigtails, the upturned nose, the deep blue eyes, the smile that caused the ground to shift. I see her as the young mother wrapped in a near saintly joy, with a glow of exasperated happiness that lit up our home as brightly as any bulb. I see her serene eyes as she enjoys the love and feeling of success that flows back to her from our adult children who all openly acknowledge their debt to her.
When I look at her this is what I see. I pity our more recent friends who only see what is presenting itself on the surface. There is so much more to see, and it’s there in plain sight—at least in my plain sight.
It’s the same with all the people, things, and places we’ve known and loved for long stretches of our lives. When changes come that we don’t particularly enjoy, we can look at the snow and see the green seedlings in the covered soil, already starting to squirm and grow. We know it’s there, and that it’s coming, because we’ve lived it. Our past and present co-exist, and this is what makes the things we love so deeply beautiful.
There’s a verse in scripture that says that truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come. The truth of my wife is her entire life, not what you just see today. As it is with all of us. And as it is with everything that surrounds us. It’s all there, all at the same time, if we only have eyes to see.