So--there it was. A blizzard of 6 - 8 inches of snow fell on Kodiak May 13th, last weekend. Raising the question, "Are You Alaskan enough"? Clearly the answer is yes. If I have to wade out of the house on Mother's Day in my dress-up red necklace out into fresh snow, I want some recognition for it. Sympathy at least. I ran into a fishing neighbor who lives in Seattle during the winter and comes up to Kodiak to commercial fish in the summers.
"David! How are you?"
"Wow! It's good to be in Kodiak. Happy to see the rain. I just had to get away from that 80 degree weather in Seattle.
I look at him with narrowed eyes. He was complaining about needing to escape 80 degrees after our eight months of winter? And a coming "summer" that would deliver only a few warm sunny days? He is not Alaskan enough. Sorry, coming only for the summers doesn't count.
I only thought of this phrase because that same weekend millions of readers were gaping at the photo of an almost 4-year old camo-clad man-child standing on a chair with his mother's breast in his mouth.
But here's the answer to the question to the question, why I did not nurse my toddlers. And it's related to the blizzard. "There's a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot." For me, it came time to uproot each of my (six) breastfeeding simply had to end. (Someday I'll tell the story of how I weaned my last child. I went out commercial fishing for a week, arms pressed to leaking breasts while fishing in storms.)
Winter, too, must come to an end, eventually. There is a right time for all things, appointed seasons. It's hard for us to let go, but we have to. The nursing babies got their licences, flew 4000 miles away to college, now live in El Salvador, study in California and New Zealand. They'll eventually settle, likely, a zillion miles from Kodiak.
The snowy mountain WILL turn green by mid-June. I may be able to sink my toes into green grass in a few weeks. The salmon will soon start--and I'll head out to fishcamp.
The seasons turn---slowly, sometimes, dumping snow when we're sick of it, hurtling us toward 22 hour daylit days, fishing nets in the water. Babies sprout teeth and learn to run the next day, and we're shoveling snow month after month, the seasons turning . . .
"I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time." There is beauty in all of these things, but our burden is that we often miss it on our time. Our time is not its time. IT's hard to see beauty in a May blizzard, in brown hills that refuse to green, in babies who grow up too fast and leave too soon. But we can.
I'm still learning this, to release my demands and receive what comes, looking, looking intently by faith, for what might be found-----beautiful.