Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. I set aside my writing and drove down to Boulevard Park for a stroll around the park and the pier. Then I noticed the brown water in the bay and wondered at it. I noticed the brown water last year about this time. Usually the bay is a beautiful blue.
On the pier, a nice man with his camera answered my question about the brown water. He said, “When the Nooksack River is high with snowmelt, it stirs up the river mud and sends it all down river and into the bay.”
I thanked him and went on my way down the pier, enjoying the sunshine and smiling at the cute dogs strolling with their owners.
So the river is purging itself of unwanted debris, just like I do when I sift through my own basement junk in the spring and throw away or donate. (“A time to keep and a time to throw away.”)
I thought of those verses in Ecclesiastes (chapter 3) where Solomon is talking about the seasons of life. “For everything there is a season.” God has designed it that way. I love that, in the sometimes unpredictable nature of life, God has ordained a certain predictable order, something we can count on. There will be births and there will be deaths; there will be planting and there will come a time of harvest.
Winter seems barren, but underneath the soil and inside the throat of the sparrow, a new song is waiting to be sung.
I have been young, and now I’m growing old, but there is comfort in knowing I’m right where I’m supposed to be in the order of life. And my children are replacing me, and my grandchildren will replace my children. And that, too, is a blessing. God has allowed Bruce and me the honor of living long enough to see our descendants.
And just as sure as the brown water in the bay of Bellingham, I have had times of grieving, which have been followed by times of laughter.
If I had one piece of wisdom to impart to teenagers, it would be this: Endure. Because life goes on. You will feel differently tomorrow. God has promised seedtime and harvest.
“For everything there is a season, a time for the every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and time to heal. A time to tear down and time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.”
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1-5 NLT Bible)