Seasons and Scriptures

During the late winter of 1982, my daughter Judy convinced me to walk with her each day. In so doing, she taught me that there was beauty in the snow and cold of the winter as surely as in the green fields and heat of summer. Each day we walked over four miles on the back roads of our small town. Each day brought new wonder and joy.

As the season progressed, we watched fields that looked like Christmas cards slip into the green of springtime. Baby lambs were born and were loaded into trucks taking them to the pastures on the hills. Wobbly new colts looked shyly from behind the safety of their mothers as we passed. The seasons took on new meaning for me as I walked those lovely old roads with my daughter, and we grew closer.

Then my daughter’s schedule changed, and I began to walk alone. Using my son’s tape recorder and ear phones and scripture tapes from the library, I walked those daily miles listening to the words of Jesus the Christ, the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon. During the weeks of the summer bean harvest, the Doctrine and Covenants was my constant companion. Then, as summer came to a close, my testimony of Joseph Smith was strengthened as the Pearl of Great Price echoed in my ears.

Autumn found me walking with the Old Testament, and I tried harder to understand the lives of Moses and his wandering people. Finally winter came again—my walking had come a full circle. The ending of one cycle signaled the beginning of another, a year of listening with my ears and my heart to the glorious things my Father in Heaven has to teach me in my daily walks with him. Lorraine Underwood, Salem, Utah

[illustration] Illustrated by Kay Watson

Preserving Character

I worked today at the bishops’ storehouse. I watched through steam-streaked glass as sisters, damp with heat, tucked stray strands of hair beneath white paper caps. They were making raspberry jam, crimson preserves heavy with pulp that made me think of pancakes on a cold winter morning. I envied those strangers that would be putting the fruit of this labor on hot bran muffins or scones.

Home again, with my own small part of the harvest, I lifted fruit-filled quarts high against a basement window and saw how bits of light were caught and held in the golden orbs of peaches and dimpled hollows of pears. I pleasured—a little—in the rows of full containers that lined my dusty shelves. How simple. How gratifying it had been in summers past to fill the yawning mouths of these jars with fruit and vegetables.

Could I, perhaps, devise a method to keep the goodness of other “fruit”? If I were wise enough, and prudent, could I preserve patience and put up purity? Could I put courage into cans? If it were possible, I would fill my larder with love—love to give the youth with the uncertain smile, to tame the child’s unruly temper, to forgive the neighbor whose words have unknowingly been a source of hurt.

If I could also put aside some faith, a little hope, and ample charity, I am certain I would take from this supply not just for a year, or two, or three; I would draw upon this bounty through all eternity. Kristine Bicker, Englewood, Colorado