I reach behind the bed to pull up the blinds. Open my eyes, open blinds higher. There is snow on our two neat rows of lettuce and snow on Ernie's truck next door, and the ground is a patchwork of brightest green and whitest white.
It is May 3. The trees have leafed out, and the tulips have come and gone, and was it just two days ago that the house felt so warm we turned on the ceiling fan and Maggie lay right underneath, panting as if she'd never been that hot?
I watch from the kitchen window as the flakes slide big and fat. Our flat of seedlings straddles the sink. They're ready for the ground. This is incongruous, these baby plants outgrowing their small pots while winter rages outside. Last year this time, we could have grown tomatoes for a month. This year we wait.
Was it just two days ago that we laughed on our walk and played make-believe? "If you get this job, what will we save for?" They felt a little risky, those words, but who can halt the dreams when a heart hopes big?
Yesterday the call came, and we went to bed with sad questions and awoke to snow.
What was it that T.S. Eliot wrote? That we hear God in hints and guesses? The tiny leaves trembling and the falling snow, the baby coming and no job, and we don't speak this language, God. Foreign sound, this is, this winter in May and a future unknown and void.
David, he knew it too, the mystery of the language God speaks and our struggle to translate.
"How long, O Lord?
Will you forget me forever?"
How long will we slip an extra sweater on when the calendar reads late spring, and how long will provision last, and how long will we wait with no good news?
At the window I gape, as the white blankets thicker and the purple iris by the shed stand shivering straight.
The seedlings stretch toward the light, and I stretch and touch cold pane, the improbable happening before my eyes. I want the probable, the predictable, the safe rotation of seasons, a plan laid out. I want to weed the flowerbeds in shorts, to kneel in warm dirt, to smile at Aaron as he comes home from the job for which we prayed.
In May, it snows, and I hold nothing in my hands save 26 words of an Israelite king who wondered what God was doing too.
"But I trust in Your unfailing love;
My heart rejoices in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for He has been good to me."