Winter has seemed long this year. It could be my age, or maybe I feel like this every March but forget the feeling of dreariness from the previous year. February was a cold month that brought low, cold clouds rolling up the foothills slowly engulfing us to the point of causing our worldview to become small and bleak. More than once Nancy and I would spontaneously sing the line from the Broadway play, Annie, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow; bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun!” Singing it felt encouraging and somehow optimistically prophetic when everything around was so gray.

Then one day it happened as it always does at this time of year – the clouds lifted taking with them the drabness we felt. The sun broke through, melting away the remaining snow and allowing the ground to absorb heat and finally thaw. The air was still crisp but the hope of a new season was renewed and so was our vision for the creation of yet another productive vegetable garden.

Our friends, Elliot and Marilyn, feeling invigorated by a stretch of warmer weather themselves, offered to lend us a hand for a day. We graciously accepted and along with our granddaughter, Hope, we spent the better part of a Saturday prepping raised beds in the garden. Elliot and I turned over the soil, reforming the mounded rows while Marilyn and Nancy raked in gypsum and planted Winter Rye grass. Gypsum helps to loosen the compacted soil while breaking up clay. Winter Rye on the other hand is a green crop that adds nitrogen when spaded into the rows later in the season in preparation for vegetable seeds.

Hope worked alongside us driving in stakes and stringing lines so Elliot and I could construct the new rows straight and even. As we all labored outside for the day, we used muscles that had been dormant all winter. Although those muscles would let us know about it the next day, our spirits were renewed and revitalized as we enjoyed the fresh air and the beginning preparations for a promised harvest to come.

If there is a moral or point to this short story it might simply be this: The sun will always come out tomorrow and when it does, it’s not a time to sit but to rise up and act on the renewed hope it will surely bring. Life is full of seasons, and every season has its purpose. As King Solomon once said, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…” [Eccl. 3:1]