It’s the first weekend in April. (General Conference! General Conference!) And every first weekend in April, I have the greatest expectations that this will be the weekend that will finally usher in the compliance of spring’s glory, and that—if we wanted too—we would be warm enough to sit outside on Temple Square and listen to talks bare-armed and sweater-free. (I did this once, and the sunshine felt lovely through my cardigan even as the wind-chill left me desiring mittens. So now we stay home with quilts and the effervescence of yeast, the smell of dough rising in the kitchen, waiting for a rolling pin and some cinnamon sugar.) Even still, I would love to see the brazen pinkness of my children’s limbs against the pink of blooming tulips, all lit up and warm under and springtime sun—a sun with a little “oomph” to it. But in truth, their arms are still ashen, the background the same. It’s all the color of blah, the color of oatmeal. Which is to say gray. And soggy.
But it’s APRIL! I want to be renewed by the weather while I’m renewed by the spirit of my God. And cinnamon rolls.
It’s the same in October; I’m ready to be cozy, in marled socks and sheepskin slippers. But I strip both off by hour two, session one. The kitchen is overly hot from the baking of the cinnamon rolls, the Saturday sun illuminating through the windows. Out back the lawn is still green and the leaves cast an orangey glow from the periphery of trees. All of it calls to the kids, and they want to go outside. Barefoot.
But it’s October, and I want to hunker down and eat some soup. (And cinnamon rolls.) Can’t it just get autumn-ish already?
I always go into Conference weekend thinking the weather—whatever the weather—is just a little bit off. It’s always this way—I should just rely on it as I rely on being spiritually fed and listening to a Carole Makita report on a temple open house and life about the Saints in Japan or Spain or Germany. I think of what I know to be true every Conference weekend and it always comes back to this: the tears. Always there will be tears. Copious amounts. Bucketfuls, shameful bucketfuls, as my kids look up from their coloring to ask in half-gleeful, half-crazed, half-worried (don’t three halves make a whole?) tones, “Mom, why are you so sad at this?”
This? This is not sad, I tell them as I cry, this is happy. This is a blessing, I tell them, but they’re back to coloring by now. This is modern-day revelation! This is a chance for prayers to be answered, a chance to come with an open space in your heart, to leave with it filled, over-flowing.
And this is what I can expect. This, and cinnamon rolls. Because I can’t rely on the weather: just this moment it taunts, a seamless blue, and if the trees weren’t waving their bare limbs so frantically, I just might believe.
What can you expect this weekend? And tell me, do you cry?