Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: YEAR (05/17/18)
- TITLE: Designed to Inspire
By Francie Snell
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Higher in the Sierras, the snowpack quickly melts. Like eager children, we anxiously await the opening of the pass when we travel the two-lane highway that precipitously winds up and over the breath- taking terrain. Raging rivers roar through the canyons and waterfalls cascade down granite cliffs to collide off rocks. Droplets splash up into the air, then disintegrate into a fine mist.
As the sun continues to warm the earth, Spring turns into Summer. The hearth for our wood stove is swept clean, and the noisy hum of the air conditioner runs continuously. Crisp cotton bedsheets replace flannel ones.
Days are spent mostly outdoors where the garden grows and Humming Birds play. Hopefully, the tomatoes and Kale will do well this year.
Out on the trail, Rattlesnakes slither from their holes and curl up in the warm sun. Yet my husband and I agree it’s time to prepare the backpacks. We freely hike wherever the trails take us, grateful we are still able to do so. Camping, hiking, fishing. There is never enough time in this season.
Lower in elevation, majestic green oak trees stand in contrast against the gilded hills as the sun turns the green grass to shiny gold.
In the sizzling Summer sun, we consider the cooler temperatures that Fall will bring.
Fall rescues us from the scorching heat of Summer. Green leaves on the trees change into brilliant fall colors before they swirl down from high branches, carried by a breeze. Leaves of yellow, red, and orange fall gracefully on the ground and raked into a pile.
The growing mound of split cedar, oak, and pine appears like a work of art in our yard. And although the deer have now ravaged the last of our garden, I am grateful for God’s provision.
Families with children have left vacationland and gone back to work and school. No more smoky barbeques and crowded shores along the lake. Part of me will miss them. Part of me won’t.
Flannel sheets are placed on the bed and the woodstove begins to warm the house with its quiet ticking. We are ready for winter.
Winter comes with a biting wind and the limbs on the trees are bare. The air grows colder and quieter as winter drapes the earth with its silent white blanket. The pass is closed for the season as snow grows to more than twenty feet. No more mountain hikes or fishing the rivers until next year.
The mound of firewood stacked in the yard shrinks day by day. We are blessed to give much of it away to those who need it. We wear thick jackets, warm boots, and wool scarves.
Thank you, Lord, for your promises, and the beauty of freshly fallen snow.
The clock ticks in the new year and we wonder where time has gone. Like a rushing river life has swept us through each season until a year has gone, and we again look gratefully forward to Spring.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96:11-12 NIV
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