Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shaking Winter Loose




April is the month that sets the year in motion, shaking winter loose, turning the world towards the sun, blooming into nature's brightest colors. This change of season is so full of momentum, no wonder we call it spring.”

This delightful quote comes from the pen of Vivian Swift and her book,
When Wanderers Cease to Roam”. In this charming celebration of settling down, Vivian exchanges her worn rucksack for a permanent home in a small town. She begins to explore the neighborhood, discovering little waterfalls and ancient entrances and enchanting little streets named after trees.
In the chapter, “April,” she writes of “Shaking Winter Loose”.

Shaking winter loose. I love that phrase. It makes me think of my grandma in days long ago, when she did her annual spring cleaning. Grandma would “shake the winter loose” when she hung quilts and blankets and curtains on the clothesline out back. She throttled them with a broom and I giggled. She handed the broom to me, and I gave the blankets a few whacks.
Laughter and sunshine and shaking winter loose, with the promise of hot cocoa and homemade cookies in Grandma's snug kitchen.
She would sweep and dust and I would help. I keenly remember the way the dust particles danced in a shaft of sunlight.
Shaking winter loose.
The still crisp breeze of April ribboning through the windows, colliding with the aromas of Baking Day: bread, sticky rolls and pies.
This side of heaven, there is no aroma more splendid than that.
Shaking winter loose.
It also means rummaging through the closet for last year's sneakers and lighter jackets, shaking off the doldrums with a walkabout. It calls for the yearly ritual of walking familiar streets to take in new things: porch furniture, early blooms, robins on worm patrol, babies in strollers, toddlers on tricycles.
Winter's dull blanket is swaying in the wind, shaken loose and pulled back to reveal the unclothed trees of pre-bloom wonder.
Memories, too, are stirred awake. I can see Grandma, looking regal in her everyday apron, brewing coffee on the old wood stove for Grandpa, cranking open the windows and sweeping out the wood chips.
Dust mites, earth's dormant gems, are scattered awake to dance in the ribboning breeze.

Winter is shaken loose, and the world is reborn.

1 comment:

  1. This brings back many memories of my childhood!! My mother would hang our featherbeds on the line and have the sun freshen the feathers. The pillows would be hung out the window ledge. All the linens were boiled and then scrubbed on a washboard. And, finally. they, too, would be hung on the line to be dried by the sun. When all that had been accomplished, all the rugs would come out and be beaten!! There was always a great cloud of accumulated dust created. Spring cleaning took about a week, as tenants took turns with the laundry and the wash line. Perhaps, our spring cleaning is not so labor intense, but our spring cleaning of the heart becomes a much greater project. Let's not forget that!

    Thanks for this blog, Kathy. This last week I was wounded by the actions of a co-worker and kept replaying this hurt in my mind. But God spoke to me and reminded me to let go and get moving into the future. What a great Father we have!!

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