A meditation: I Thessalonians 5:18, ‘In all things give thanks’


While growing up in Minnesota, I loved the changing of the seasons – and I think I would say as a child I appreciated the uniqueness that came along with each one.

Winter was a time for holidays, baking with our beloved grandmother, good food, family gatherings, indoor games, sledding, ice skating and very bulky clothes. Cold nights were spent under a plethora of blankets which influenced a quick rise and shine to scamper down the steps to greet the warmth of the early morning kitchen and begrudge my mother’s hearty morning oatmeal, which I hated.

Spring was that time of looking forward to summer as green patches began to burst forth from beneath the snow. It meant the encroaching aroma of lilacs, the morning songs of a yard full of robins, crocuses, daffodils, and tulips doing their best to burst forth from the stone-cold earth. It meant the gathering of colorful little violets for my mom on Mother’s Day as we gathered around a brightly decorated table with fresh linens. Of course, the gift of spring took us into those brilliant blue skies of Minnesota summers. A time of watching our neighborhood Maple tree begin to burst forth with welcoming limbs for winged and two legged creatures alike.

Summers were filled with swimming, family picnics, and the gathering of dandelion greens for my dad. It was a time of creating spaces for a beautiful garden which yielded tasty strawberry and raspberry jams, canned tomatoes, fresh corn on the cob, and freshly dug potatoes that would be stored in our very primitive root cellar. It meant pitching a tent along the wooded shores of Lake Superior and hiking along the many streams that flowed with joy and enthusiasm. Those north wood experiences meant sitting in anticipation to hear the call of the Loon in the early mornings or late evenings – that place where the earth kisses the sky, and the sky embraces the sun, and the moon brings the haunting sounds of evenings that offer free entertainment put on by an amazing group called the “Fireflies” or known by some as “Lightning bugs.” It was a soul-searching time, even as a kid.

Those glimmering flying creatures took me into the Autumn Harvest, and oh, how I loved that harvest moon. The chill in the air became the reminder that leaves would soon be dropping from that beautiful sugar maple, which had become a sacred place for me to play, a place that God was playing with me in the crunch of the leaves as we enjoyed the pungent smells of those leaves settling on the earth, resembling a colorful handmade quilt. It was under this tree in the month of October my mother placed me as an infant that I am convinced I caught my first falling leaf. Today as I mediate on these memories, I also believe it was my first kiss from God.

Query: Can you recall the first time you experienced God?

Blessings and love, Nancy McCormick, Springfield Friends, Chester Friends, Wilmington College Campus Ministry.

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