Golden February sunlight casts long shadows across the lawn this afternoon. The weather has been so balmy for the past month that it doesn’t seem like winter at all. Buds on the ornamental pear are swelling to burst and mallards are staking their claim to ponds along Sand Creek. Temperatures dropped  under a clear sky last night, so our pond had a skin of ice again this morning, but I fear that spring may yet be born prematurely.

“Time out of joint,” Shakespeare would have called this. Seasons deranged. March arrives in two weeks, according to the calendar, but Indiana’s weather observes the dictates of no one’s calendar this year.

I am but a spectator to nature’s convoluted plot. Will it turn out tragedy? comedy? or farce? If I need sunglasses in February, should I buy an ice scraper for May? I can only wait for the next act to unfold, conscious again that God is sovereign.

Long ago, I gave up trying to control my circumstances and contented myself with anticipating them, but this quirky February demonstrates even that is beyond me. My Lord says, “It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father has put in his own authority” (Acts 1:7).

The seasons of nature and seasons of life are truly beyond my control and, occasionally, beyond my comprehension.

Crinkled and translucent, a thin veneer of ice covers our pond this morning. White frost blankets surrounding grass, undisturbed by any animal track–not even that of a muskrat who usually waddles to the neighboring creek at least once a night (for a reason I have not been able to discern), dragging a long wet tail in his train.

Everyone stays put until late autumn’s wan sunlight softens winter’s advancing edge. Except for me. My solitary foray is, I confess, most unnatural.