Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)
By Robin Parry
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I am far from home, and missing my favorite time of year. The time of year when the snow melts and the flowers bloom. The sun no longer deceives us into thinking that because it is bright, it is warm. For once, it tells the truth and provides the warmth we expect. I’m missing the chance to wear sweaters because you wake up chilly, only to discard them midday because you’re warm. I’m missing the neighbor’s apple blossoms and our irises that only condescend to show themselves for a short amount of time before deciding they’ve had enough sunlight until next year. I’m missing the return of the birds, back with songs to sing of their vacations in the south.
I’m missing all of this because I left my home in the middle of March and got on a plane to Ethiopia. When I left there was two feet of snow still on the ground. When I return, I will be too late to witness the miracle of the birth of spring. Yes, miracle, because births are always a miracle.
Here in Ethiopia it is warm. I am told that we came at the perfect time of year. It is not quite yet the rainy season in which the mosquitoes swarm and pester. And it is not their dry, scorching winter. I spend my days comfortably outdoors playing games with missionary children. They are energetic and tireless, and though I am young, they make me feel old by comparison. But they keep me from being homesick.
Homesickness, I found, is easy enough to cure. Keeping busy on a mission compound is not hard to do. But spring-sickness, if there is such a word, and I think there must be, as I am feeling it, is a tougher foe to fight. I am in a country that has never experienced the extreme changes in landscape and weather that is brought on by frigid winters, and therefore does not understand the feelings of awakening and being alive that spring evokes.
However, it is here my tale of woe must come to an end. For it is here that the mercies of God and His great love are shown in the tiniest detail of granting a selfish desire of a heart. For as strange a country as I am in, with its strange insects and birds and monkeys, what should I see out my window near the poinsettia tree (yes, tree) but a robin. For me, the first robin of spring, and my rainbow promise from God that He has not forgotten me, or my love for spring, and has brought me a touch of home to cure my spring-sickness.
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