The view from my window is beautiful: a pristine white landscape, softly-coated branches, snow falling gently in fat fluffy flakes.

The only hitch is that I’m ready for a whole other kind of beauty – the green landscape kind, the branches-festooned-with-blossoms kind. As the writer of Ecclesiastes put it, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Ecc. 3:11) This, surely, is not the atmospheric activity that should belong to April.

Been there. Done that. Got the broken shovel.

But as I watch, there’s a different kind of activity in the Hawthorne tree out front. Three fat robins land in its branches, oblivious to the snow under their feet. They peck at a leftover berry, the odd bud here and there. Then they swoop next to the house, where the snow is gone and dry grass and old twigs and bits of bark are available for building material. They continue to swoop and carry away, cheerfully going about their usual spring tasks.

Then a little black-cap chickadee lands. This is my favorite bird, and always makes me smile. I watch as he does his morning grooming, ensuring every little feather is in place, pulling out the strays. Winter or spring – it makes no difference to him.

These birds aren’t caught up in the calendar; they aren’t impatient about what should be, but isn’t yet. They don’t waste time or energy fretting, or asking “Why?” or moaning “Ain’t it awful?” They just do what they were created to do – feeding themselves, building for the future, grooming themselves to stay clean and remove what they don’t need.

It strikes me that I should emulate these birds in the many times when things don’t unfold as I expect or hope.

When snow covers the grass I’ve been hoping to see, I need to remember the grass is still there. And when circumstances obscure God’s purposes in my limited field of vision, the purposes are still there, whether or not I see them. The buds are still on the branches under the snow, and God’s plans will still blossom. My work is to continue to feed on His Word, use the building materials He makes available, and keep my feathers clean and unruffled.

In other words, I’m to continue to do what only I can do – learn, digest, reflect, pray, be thankful and follow His lead – and leave it with God to do what only He can do. Because God’s ways are right and His timing is perfect, I can look at the robins and welcome this promise of spring, instead of lamenting the vestiges of winter.

For “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecc. 3:11)

And He still does.