The scenery and sunsets here are wonderfully refreshing. The house is filled with big windows. It's pretty clear by the creative wiring that electricity was an afterthought when this house was built. Each morning I make my way around opening up all the mini-blinds, and we spend the day in natural sunlight. I'm sure it's awful for the heating bill, but it's water for the thirsty soul. My in-laws' house had only a couple windows, and the view out their windows was only the back of the next house in a barren subdivision, nothing like the grand old pine trees and snow covered hills here.
Seeing the artist's outline of bare tree branches against the icy sky I pause quietly at the window and smile and breathe deeply. Then a sudden memory stabs my heart. I stare listlessly and remember. Baby Emma strapped on my front, toddler Hannah cheerfully riding in the stroller, Naomi skipping by my side chattering on unaware of her stutter. Gazing over the Iowa fields, the fresh April air sweeps into my lungs and I breathe deeply of the happiness. The stagnant Chicago air, the noisy city, the crowded condo, all distant memories. The sun is peeking through the clouds, lighting up droplets of rain on every branch we pass. The stroller wheels chatter lightly over the gravel path. We are on our way to visit the new calf and let him lick our fingers and giggle together before we head to lunch with friends in the Cono student center. We are settled, we are happy, we are alive again. And I feel that God has given this reprieve to us because he knew just what would feed our weary souls.