This is getting ridiculous. Tonight I was driving home and the electronic ticker in front of the bank told me it was 29 degrees outside. Last I checked it is March 19th. Not. Acceptable.
I have kind of gone nuts recently anticipating the arrival of spring, trying to will it here by buying new tank tops, digging my extensive sundress collection out of storage, painting my toenails, stalking the Weather.com 10-day forecasts hoping each day that the tenth day will bring with it the hoped-for upturn.
It’s around this time every year, when it doesn’t seem possible that I can hold on any longer, when I can’t believe I will ever actually get to wear those sundresses again, that I return to my favorite song: “Here Comes the Sun.” It’s such a simple song, one I heard it hundreds of times growing up, but I never really “heard” it until Phil Keaggy played it at chapel in the spring of my senior year at Wheaton College. I rarely attended chapel that semester, as it is not required for seniors, but that day I decided to go; it was very near the end of the year, and I was feeling nostalgic, and I like Phil Keaggy, and I must not have had any homework to finish. Chapel was so crowded someone else was already sitting in my assigned seat and I cared so much that I had to sit in a chair in the back. I’m glad I did. I don’t mean to be melodramatic, but that chapel kind of changed my life.
He played his guitar. That was it. A man and a guitar. He had no way of knowing how tough that semester had been, how tough that year had been. But then he sang these words and everything felt okay:
It’s been a long, cold lonely winter
It feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
People had died. Relationships had died. I was less than a month away from the end of the life I had planned: I had thought so much about college, and so little about what would come after. I was realizing just how unprepared I was to say good-bye to my best friends, to step into an unknown future in an unknown place.
And I was cold. The promise of spring had failed to materialize, and the perpetual frost convinced me that nothing would ever get better.
Sometimes a little thing is enough. Enough to keep us going, at least. The sun rising, a flower blooming, a day warm enough to leave the jacket behind, a warm loaf of bread–these small, good things can totally change our day if we let them point us toward the promise of spring, of renewal, of forward motion, of change. Things will not always stay as they are. They can’t. That is not how we were made, or how the world was made.
Whenever I hear these words they give me hope. They remind me that something better is coming, but also that the sun is here now. It never went away.