Cold Air & Oranges – 2019


Time does fly. Three years have already passed since I wrote the story below. Surprisingly, it gained traction with more people than most of the others I have written.

Given this, I decided last year to send it out as a reminder each Spring. And, here we are already, another year later.  Happening fast isn’t it?

Since then, I don’t wait for a cool morning and the last orange in the box to sit and be thankful as I wrote about before. No sir. You can find me sitting on those steps often throughout the spring. Soaking up the cool air when it is here, enjoying a navel orange, and thanking God for the uncountable blessings in my life.

Thing is, you tend see more and hear more when you intentionally take a moment, and just be still. It opens a door for God to speak to you. Believe it.

Here is the original story……

In the spring of 2016 an unusually late season cold front pushed through my hometown of Mobile, AL. The temperature that morning was in the low 50s with virtually no humidity and a steady breeze. I couldn’t have ordered better weather.

Being a very hot natured guy, I am no fan of the endless heat and humidity summer brings in the coastal south. You can count on May – October being hot with June – September being just ridiculous. A long stretch for a fella that prefers the cold.

Knowing that summer was closing in fast I made sure to spend time outside that morning soaking up the cool air!

I was sitting on the steps of my front porch in shorts, barefoot and shirtless, with my eyes closed, eating a cold naval orange when my then 14-year-old son walked up. I’m certain his curiosity made him stop. Our 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’m cool with that because it is just how God made me. Having known my son for 14 years I could tell he was dying to know what I was really up to. So, 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, as stated, once late May arrives in our area the weather I enjoy so much is just 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 far better and they are only here for a month or so in the spring, then they are gone.

The navel orange I was eating from the refrigerator was the very last one. I found it hidden that morning underneath the apples. I couldn’t buy more another until next year so I was enjoying every bite of this unexpected surprise.

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 and taken for granted. A late season shot of cold air and the very last orange in the box may be small but to me they were something, a blessing, and 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 for me. I am far 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 piece of fruit that I love. What if I were never able to experience either? A reality for many people in this world.

We talked for a few more minutes until my son announced that it was cold and he retreated inside to the fireplace. The lesson was shared but more importantly, another seed was sown in his mind. I have no idea if that seed 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 writer downer of it all……

Don’t miss the “small blessings” in life. They are literally everywhere if you just stop and take time to notice them and enjoy them.

Get in the boat. Do your part.

From Nose to Toes!

Shane / #16

 

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