Springtime in Georgia is so beautiful. Before moving here in 2007, I can’t say I ever thought much about the state of Georgia or any of the beauty it contained. I had no idea that the oak trees and tall pines went on for miles and miles. Zac Brown had yet to sing these lyrics…
“Well I was raised up beneath the shade of a Georgia Pine
And that’s home you know
Sweet tea, pecan pie, and homemade wine
Where the peaches grow
And my house it’s not much to talk about
But it’s filled with love that’s grown in southern ground”
This new little slice of home, beneath those Georgia pines, also gifts us each year with something Zac forgot to mention in his lyrics; an invader that I’ll call ‘Agent Yellow’. That first Spring in Georgia, I remember making a big Southern rookie mistake. It was a beautiful day in early May; sun shining, warm temps, nice breeze. I did what all of us raised in the North would do – opened up every window to let the fresh air in, because there is nothing better than the smell of the fresh air blowing through the windows. Little did I know that my hardwood floors would soon glow yellow and, for what felt like days, I would wipe up this pesky ‘Agent Yellow’ powder from all over every surface of my home. So, THIS is why no one opened a window (because I was wondering why every home had their windows closed on these beautiful days) and turned the A/C.
Fast forward a decade; our windows stay closed in the spring (well, always) and we rotate between the A/C and heat every other day for about a month. Our screened porch gets covered with thick plastic that still does not keep the yellow glow fully on the outside. I dream of the weekend that I can get out the power washer to the surfaces on the outside and remove it all (which by the way, is coming soon).
When the rain comes, my praise hands go up. Wash it away, Lord, wash it away.
Despite ‘Agent Yellow’, Spring really is beautiful here. We live in a planned community, our neighborhood and surrounding ones. When the leaves come back for another year, the trees that line the main road seem so much bigger, so much more beautiful. When I look out my back window (or eventually through the screens minus the plastic), I see a florescent green glow, and my view of the other homes around me is almost completely blocked. The flowers have bloomed everywhere and are already due for a replacement, since the tulips have shed their petals.
When we had the opportunity to move to Georgia, God had big plans for our family. We didn’t know what awaited us, but we were hopeful for a change and a step forward. Neither my husband or I were raised to comfortably fly away from the nest, yet we were ready to create something new. It reminds me of those trees glowing florescent green in my back yard. They don’t know what’s coming; it could be days of sunshine, it could be the worst hurricane. But they are ready to take it on and begin new again.
Just as the leaves are glowing and growing, so is my hope and my faith. The dust falls, and from time to time, poisons my heart. I’m so grateful to have someone to wipe it away. Someone to rest my faith in when everything around me makes no sense. When parenting is HARD. When people are mean. When I’m mean. When my selfishness takes over.
This spring in Georgia has reminded me of the hope that awaits us when we step in faith and courage. The complete trust that comes with knowing that we have a God that loves us and calls us worthy of the calling we have received.
It took a courageous and faithful step, but I’ve found gratitude in that courage and decision (that we actually made twice). What we have found is that – ‘Up beneath the shade of the Georgia pine IS HOME YOU KNOW’.