So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NRSV)
Mary Lou Carney says that when she was a child Spring seemed to take forever in coming. As soon as the April sun began warming the creek, she'd want to go barefoot. Her Grandmother would shake her head "no." Then mild May days would coax blooms from marsh marigolds and trillium. "It's summer!" Mary Lou would laugh, tossing her warm sweaters up into the top of the closet. "We ain't had blackberry winter yet," her grandmother would say with conviction.

"Blackberry winter"--that's what her grandmother called that final cold snap in May, when blackberries began ripening.

"Now that I'm an adult," Ms. Carney writes, "I've noticed blackberry winters' in other areas of my life, too. I save for a vacation, but have to spend the money on a new washer. I feel things will never get better.

"That's when I think of Grandma, sitting in her rocker, her hands stitching quilting pieces. It'll never get warm!' I used to whine.

" Course it will,' she'd laugh. Blackberry winter is a short season, child. Real short.'

Our setbacks in life are also short. Don't give up.

God of hope, don't let me give up. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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