Sally curled up on the sofa relishing the warmth coming from the fireplace. It had been a hectic day, with her class of ten-year olds clamouring for attention. In addition she had had to report to the Headmaster before leaving school, causing her to miss her usual bus home. The weather too had been unkind with wind and rain vying for attention. It had all made her extremely tired and frustrated.
So here she was in front of a nice warm fire trying to forget the rigours of the day. She did not like winter at all, perhaps you could say she hated it. She loved her teaching job, but it was a very demanding one, and she always looked forward to vacation time, especially the summer one.
How long was it before summer break, she wondered? About three months! Much too long.
Summer! She loved it. Summer, a time for rest and recreation, a change of scenery, maybe making new friends.
Summer, when the sun made everything look so much brighter and people were more cheerful.
Sally sighed. Why couldn’t it always be summer. She began to remember some of the holidays she had had. As a child she had spent time with her parents by the sea, making sand castles, learning to swim. Later she was allowed to spend time with a friend or go to camp with the young people from church.
Now as a grown-up she made her own plans. She had had some wonderful holidays, sometimes with friends, sometimes venturing alone, like the time she had gone with a group to spend time on a farm helping the farmer with his fruit harvest.
This year she had begun to make some plans, but nothing concrete. Maybe a trip overseas, something adventurous. Some friends at church were thinking of joining a tour to Israel. That would certainly be something to remember, but she wasn't sure she wanted that.
The warmth of the fire and her tired mind combined to make her succumb to sleep, a dreamy sleep, where wishful thinking mixed with imagination took her on a fanciful trip to that longed for summer break.
She was on a Caribbean island, lounging on a beach under palm trees, with the beautiful ocean not far from her feet. Blue skies were overhead, with a little flutter of white clouds here and there. In the distance was the sound of some calypso music.
A waiter from the hotel came with some light refreshment. The cool drink was just what the doctor ordered. This indeed was bliss. No noisy children, no reports to be made, nothing to do but enjoy doing nothing.
The day turned to evening and she joined the other guests for a party. She chatted with some young men, hoping for friendship. Perhaps Mr. Right.
She stirred in her sleep, but only momentarily. Her summer break was spreading out before her — swimming, horse riding, dancing. What could she not do in these glorious summer days. Bliss!
Then deep sleep took over and the dream was gone.
As the fire in the fireplace died down the room began to cool. The cosy warmth had gone. Sally again stirred in her sleep, the cooling air causing her to wake up. Goodness, she had slept for a couple of hours; that had not been her plan at all.
As she stretched herself before getting up, she began to recollect somewhat hazily snatches of her dream. Yes, it was about summer, away from the cold wintry weather outside. A lazy summer vacation by the sea. It was only a dream and it was still cold outside, but in sleep it had refreshed her.
Summer was still a few months away. She had time to make plans, prepare properly and then enjoy it all. But for now she had work to do, winter not withstanding. There were ten-year olds who needed her. They too probably wished it was summer time, but with her help they could enjoy the present time of learning and be content.
She recalled a Bible verse she had learned long ago, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.” After all God is the God of winter too. It is all a part of life.
That’s it, she said to herself, contentment even in the cold winter, but I’m still longing for summer!
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