Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
~Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.
~Moliere (1622 - 1673)
Your descendants shall gather your fruits.
~Virgil (70 BC - 19 BC)
I was sitting on the couch this evening, minding my own business, when the local five-o’clock news began a story about persimmons. Yep, persimmons. I’ve never eaten a persimmon, but they seem to be pretty popular here in mid-America – as a winter weather forecaster. Who’d-a-thunk-it.
So, here’s the gist of tonight’s news story about persimmons: Evidently, several months ago, some local school students conducted an experiment, sorting persimmons from this year’s crop. The story goes that when you cut open the persimmons, if you see the center looks like a fork, the coming winter will be mild and dry. If you see a spoon, the winter will be cold and snowy, and if you see a knife, the winter will be bitter cold. The students cut open 194 persimmons, and here’s the breakdown they found:
Forks = 15
Spoons = 140
Knives = 39
Guess what kind of winter it’s been in my neck of the woods? You guessed it, lots of snow, sleet, ice and cold.
I understand how you can see signs in nature that indicate what seasons have been like, rings in trees indicating drought or lots of rain, for instance. But fruity weather predictors ---how does that work? There are lots of things in this earth, and outside of it, for that matter, I don’t understand. That’s what intrigues me about the Creator.
Life is about seasons. Winter, spring, summer, autumn --- I love them all. There are other seasons in life, too. The seasons of my life have been marked by jobs, relationships, homes, churches, raising children, releasing children, births and deaths. And I have learned that some seasons overlap. In the past few months my seasons have been about graduating my daughter from homeschool --- and sending her to college, losing a job, changing churches, watching my adult and almost adult children make decisions on their own, (some that scare me), buying a new house, and bringing my husband’s teenage son into our home. If I could have predicted how these seasons would go, I might have chosen differently --- tried to avoid them. But you can’t stop the ice storms, any more than you can choose when to have snow – and in both, there are challenges and blessings.
Snow can be fun --- watching from the window while my teenagers build snow forts and organize a neighborhood snowball battle. Hot chocolate, beef stew, beautiful white flakes falling peacefully to the ground. But the cold weather also meant not one, but two visits from the heating and air repair guy, with a bill that really challenged our budget.
Ice storms can be threatening and dangerous --- they can bring power outages, property damage, slick streets, burst pipes. But there’s nothing like an unexpected early closing of the college, the restaurant where my daughter works, and the company where my husband works. Once everyone was home safe, we spent the evening in front of the fireplace, playing board games. One more memory to treasure.
I’ve had my share of storms recently – arguments with my kids, financial stress, etc. But as a result, I’ve learned to communicate with my loved ones in a healthier way, to trust who my kids are when they are making decisions that don’t reflect the way they were raised, to rely more on God’s provision for my financial needs. I’ve been blessed with insight into my own character flaws, and experienced the changing power of Grace --- that helps me to be a better wife, mother, and woman. And I’ve celebrated the snow!
I haven’t always enjoyed these recent seasons, but I trust the goodness of my Creator, and His wisdom. If it’s supposed to be cold and snowy, He has His reasons. And if there are persimmons to predict the weather, then I’ll try to be prepared, but if there aren’t, then I’ll sit by the window and watch the sky. Whatever comes, I’ll make the most of knowing that the same good God who created persimmons has it all in hand.
All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution is prohibited without prior written consent.
Monday, February 5, 2007