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Summer Breaking (Part Three: It will)


It happened eight years ago, but I can’t stop thinking about it. One moment, melted into forever, into my eternity. It’s become that which I look for in my life: that one breath, sigh of relief, of burdens being lifted and the true meaning of his words. Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden for my burden is easy and my yoke is light. Come to me, full of grief, of sorrow, of hopes unanswered. Come to me, full of anxiety, of pride, of an empty desire to control.

Eight years ago I sat on a beach in North Africa. It was hotter than hot and we sat– the foreigners and the locals alike, heavy with sweat and stiff muscles, the way we craned our necks to reach out to the breeze that wasn’t there.

Children tucked in at their mother’s feet not daring to run to the water’s edge– too hot anyway for jolly. The birds would flitter across the slow, short waves, the waves themselves too tired to roll.

And then it happened. Slowly the hair on the back of our necks lifted, unmatted from the skin. Women’s veils, the ones with fringe on the end, started to tussle.

The breeze. Summer’s chains clanging against fall’s relief; summer breaking. That’s what they call it.

When a season breaks, everything right in the world matters ten thousand times more than everything wrong. The children stretch, cool wind breathing life into their lungs, and they shout for joy, for the hope that is the breeze–no longer stranger, but friend.

Women start to laugh again. These sometimes women, sometimes product to be used, purchased for a time being and worn hard– they have life coursing through their veins again. Tomorrow seems closer, seems sweeter and softer than ever before. They lay back and float on the sand, their bodies light with the expectancy of a birth easier than they have ever known.

Tomorrow is sweet, but the shadows on the horizon dance, a harbinger of the coming pain. The next day? Not as sweet. Heavy. Sticky with pain. A cruel desert.

But again, God will bring the wind. He leads us out of our deserts, our skins hardened and wind-blasted. The wind polishes away the sand, the weight of the heat. He breaks them, those chains of ours. Those seasons of never-ending heavy grief.

And so we follow, through the desert.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Marjie permalink
    04/07/2011 9:07 am

    Your post took me back to a story my mother has often told me about a time she felt the presence of God: She was a young widow with two small children, stretched to her limits as she tried to hold their lives together. It was a miserably hot August day in Texas, and she was out in the backyard hanging up clothes to dry, dripping with sweat and feeling overwhelmed by life. Then out of nowhere, she felt a cool breeze, just as you described, on the back of her neck, and she said it was at that moment that she suddenly had a deep sense of knowing that God was with her and that everything was going to be all right. I am especially moved by the fact that your original post appeared on her 90th birthday!

    • Ryan permalink*
      04/07/2011 11:35 am


      I’m glad this post brought up your mom’s story. Isn’t it lovely how God uses nature, in our case the wind, to make His presence known? My latest post here on the site is also about wind. Feeling His presence lots these days through it, as I’m living through a very windy spring.


  1. Summer Breaking – Lenten Reflection by Ryan Harrison « Godspace
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