Cold Air & Oranges

In the spring of 2016 we had an unusually late cold front push through my hometown of Mobile, AL. The temperature that morning was in the low 50s with a steady breeze.

Being a hot natured guy, I am no fan of the heat and humidity summer brings in the coastal south but I absolutely love cold weather. It just feels good.

That mornings weather was glorious and I was outside soaking it up!

I was sitting on the steps of my front porch in shorts, barefoot and shirtless, with my eyes closed, eating a naval orange when my 14-year-old son walked up.

He knows how much I love cold weather. The conversation went kind of like this:

  • Dylan – “Daddy, what are you doing”?
  • Me – “Enjoying this weather and eating this orange”.
  • Dylan – “Aren’t you cold”?
  • Me – “Yep”.
  • Dylan – “Why are your eyes closed”?
  • Me – “Because I’m concentrating”.
  • Dylan – “Concentrating on what”?
  • Me – “Concentrating on the sound of the wind blowing, how nice this cold air feels on my skin and how good this cold orange tastes”.
  • Dylan – (After a short pause) “Daddy, sometimes you are so weird”.
  • Me – “Maybe, but I know a blessing when I see one”.

He sat down beside me and gave me one of those “I love you man” shoulder bumps.

I don’t always fit the “normal dude” mold and I could tell he was dying to know what I was really up to. I took the opportunity to explain myself and pass along the “lesson in the blessin”, which was this…..

I was enjoying the “simple blessings” God had given me that morning, which were:

Blessing #1 – Cool air!

I love cool weather and when late May arrives in our area the weather I enjoy so much is usually gone until late October. I won’t get a break from the heat once summer shows up. It’s just going to be hot or humid or both at the same time, neither of which I care for. Getting to experience the joy of an unseasonably cool and breezy morning was a blessing and I was soaking it up.

Blessing #2 – Navel Oranges!

I love navel oranges but they are seasonal, just like cool air in the deep South. I can buy regular oranges all year but navel oranges are better and they are only here for a few weeks in the spring, then they are gone. The navel orange I was eating from the refrigerator was the very last one. I couldn’t buy more until next year so I was enjoying every bite of this one.

Blessing #3 – Being able to recognize a blessing!

We rarely miss the “big blessings” in life but the “small blessings”, which there are far more of, can often get overlooked. A late season shot of cold air and the last orange in the box may be small but to me they were both a blessing I wasn’t going to overlook either one. Combining the two made them both even better.

Additionally, I wouldn’t have appreciated either of these simple joys years ago but that was years ago. Things have changed. I am more aware of and thankful for the things God does for me in life. Even if it is something as trivial as cool air and a fruit that I love. What if I were never able to experience either? A reality for many in this world.

We talked for a few more minutes until he announced that it was cold and he retreated inside to the fireplace. The lesson was shared but more importantly, another seed was sown in my son’s mind. I have no idea if it took root that morning or if it ever will.

The continuous sowing part is up to me. The taking root part is between him and God.

The picture at the top of the story? That was taken this past May 25th. That is the day we had our last blast of cool weather blow through Mobile in 2017. I happened to have a couple of navel oranges still hanging out in the bottom of the fridge and I took the opportunity to enjoy both. Just as I had the year before.

Don’t miss the “small blessings”. They are everywhere if you just stop and look for them.

Get in the boat. Do your part.

Shane / #16


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