Sunday, December 30, 2012

So it can be done.

For as long as I can remember, I have spent the majority of my adult years loathing the abrasive ways of winter.

I am not sure when it all started to be honest. I used to love it as a kid. So much so that coming in early from sledding was never by choice but always out of necessity due to either near hypothermia or encroaching darkness.

City living may have had something to do with it. Life is a pedestrian-commuter's dream for 6 months out of 12. You live in a euphoric state of bliss as you walk to coffee shops and book stores under an umbrella of waving trees,old buildings, and the golden nuances of each season. You see kids playing in sprinklers or an impromptu concert in the park under budding cherry blossoms and you tell yourself that you could walk the world forever all because "it's just so magical."

Then it hits. Winter arrives with her winds whipping off Lake Michigan. The minute you leave your door for work at 6 a.m and realize that you can't lock it behind you because your hands have, without your permission, adhered to your key, you forget all your dreamy memories and curse the day you ever thought Chicago-without-a-car was even doable. The once uttered phrase "it's all so magical" is quickly replaced with "this is all so ridiculous."

I'm not proud of being a winter hater for as long as I have been. Typically I would not label myself as a"negative" person...but if I do the battle with the cold has left me with a pretty long legacy of the winter blues.

Until recently.

A few months ago my husband and I found ourselves to be the proud adoptive owners of a 5 year-old golden retriever. It was one of those things we didn't plan on, in fact it all happened quite unexpectedly and providentially (story for another day.) And like most things that happen unexpectedly and providentially, with this new ownership has come quite a few new adventures and realizations.

Of course there are the little things. Like realizing "puppy talk" is not something I am cool enough to avoid. Or that I am actually able to function in the morning without making coffee first. There is some stumbling. Obviously. But my early bird adventures to feed and let out the dog in the wee hours of the morn have for the most part been successful. Who knew?

But my most favorite realization so far, is that this Ranger-Boy of ours, has broken down the icy fortress of winter-hatred and reminded this once reluctant girl just how fun this season of snow can be.

I can honestly say that if we never had him I would have never ventured outside the foot of my front door to get the mail this year, let alone take a long walk in below freezing temps. Which would have been really unfortunate. Because I would have missed so much. The crunch of each footstep after a fresh snowfall or the way moonlight is brighter this time of year. The smell of a fire or making snow angels in the fields would have been well off my radar along with so many other things.

On Christmas day the lone Ranger and I were able to slip out and take a long walk by the lake in my parent's town. Not a soul in sight, just the quiet beauty of the mid-afternoon sun reflecting off the water and the snow. After a good hour we simply sat. A passing car would have seen just a girl on a bench with her dog by her side and his head in her lap. But they wouldn't have seen the tears of gratitude and joy streaming down her face to be able to witness a still, winter day and think of her King and Creator.

Pre-dog... a moment like that I would have missed out on. I would have been curled up under a blanket in the name of "comfort".

I'm not attributing my dog with spiritual knowledge or foresight. God's Word is clear about how man is made uniquely separate from the animals. But what I am saying, is that God has used our Ranger-Danger to teach me something about Himself. That He is beautiful and all that He makes is beautiful all the time. And that we are to express gratitude for His creation with abandon. As much abandon as this dog has for walks, tennis balls, and chasing cats.

So the age old statement. Can't teach an old dog new tricks?
To that I say, that yes. Yes you can.
Because she can't wait for our next walk in this winter wonderland.


jen jones said...

absolutely lovely

Laura Ann said...

love it!!!
don't dogs just change everything :)

Jim Killam said...

We are enjoying how much you guys are enjoying Ranger. And you're a good writer!