Are you a blooming idiot?
I am. As the days gradually grow longer and a bit warmer, I’m itching to get outside. I’m daily measuring the shoots from and celebrating each bloom of the daffodils that are poking their heads above ground as I bide my time. I’m even excited to see dandelions! (Those of you who like perfectly manicured lawns may not agree.)
I’m also itching to get back into the bee yard. I can’t wait to peek into the hives and see how the girls are doing. I can see bees floating around most of the entrances, but there are a few hives that are silent. I can already guess they didn’t make it through the winter.
It’s time to get into the hives and clean out the dead colonies (always a time of grieving over those lost bees). We also need to evaluate the queens of the surviving colonies to see if they’re laying and how well they’re laying.
We’ve had some warm days to tease us (and the bees) into thinking that winter is over. Some trees are forming leaf buds and a few miles down the road others are actually beginning to bloom. There’s enough promise in the air that we’re tempted to put away our winter jackets and replace our boots with flip flops. But we know better.
in Tennessee this warm weather is usually flirting with us to make us complacent and catch us off guard for that unsuspected final blast of cold that stops us in our tracks in March or April. That’s why smart farmers around here don’t plant their delicate tomato plants until after April 15.
We’re seasonal creatures. We need the change. Today we’re grumbling about the cold and wishing for spring, but it won’t be long before we’re complaining about the heat and looking forward to cooler days of autumn. It seems we’re never satisfied.
In Philippians 4:11-12 Paul says he’s learned to be content in whatever circumstances he’s in. Notice he had to LEARN to be content. It didn’t come naturally. Learning to be content is a discipline that can drastically affect the quality of our lives. Instead of grumbling and complaining about the season I’m in, I need to develop a grateful heart that can focus on the blessings around me.
I believe contentment and gratefulness are “identifiers” of Kingdom folks. They’re attributes of mature Christ-followers, just as mature married couples don’t need showy billboards announcing their love but are content in one another’s company. It’s a quality I’m learning to cultivate.
So, here I am on this chilly morning looking ahead to the promise of spring. I’m grateful God has given us seasons, knowing that each one is necessary for me to become mature and complete. And while it’s taken me a few years to get it (I’m not always the brightest bulb in the box), I’m learning that whatever season I’m in, I can adapt.
The bees adapt too. The queens have begun laying eggs and the workers are busy bringing in pollen to feed the new babies. But when it gets chilly once again, they’ll reform their clusters and keep things warm until they can pick up where they left off.
In the meantime, I’m still counting daffodils taking note of every new bloom and flash of color emerging on the grey hillside.
Here’s an update on my schedule:
I’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead and I’d appreciate your prayers.
Today, February 24 — I’ll be at the board meeting of the Tennessee Beekeepers Association
Tuesday, February 27, 6:30 — I’ll be speaking at the Rotary Club in Murfreesboro
Friday, March 2, 10:00 — I’ll be talking about bees with a Garden Club in Shelbyville
Thursday, March 8, 12:00 — I’ll be signing books at LInebaugh Library in Murfreesboro — stop by and get your autographed copy of Life Lessons from the Hive
Saturday, March 10, 8:00-2:00 — I’ll be one of three speakers at the Christian Women’s Conference of Middle Tennessee
Saturday, March 17, 9:30 — Suki and I will be teaching on Healing Ministry