The Promise of Spring
I don’t know how readers are feeling, but it is likely that nearly everyone is all too ready for Spring to arrive. Yesterday, on a short trip to the doctor’s office I took notice that cherry trees are beginning to flower. Even a few daffodils were poking up along the road here and there. The folks at church are planning their Easter events and choirs all around are in rehearsal.
Even the promise of spring is welcome to those of us that have slipped and slid through one of the whitest winters of record. No doubt this brought on a little bit of cabin fever, but spring brings with it an attitude of rebirth and a promise of warmer days. Outdoor fun and games are sure to follow. When I was a kid growing up, this was a time to get out the old catcher’s mitt and find that tin of special oil in anticipation of the season’s first pitch. I recall the sound of the ball striking the pocket with a slap that could be heard all around the ball park.
I remember Grannie’s crocus, with its delicate blooms, pushing out of the ground to brighten our world with color. Color was the difference in how I felt as I finally activated sore muscles unused these many cold months. Mild temperatures and warm breezes were as if it was God’s way to celebrate. The new colors delighted me. Those little flowers would usher in their older cousins, the daffodils that lined the driveways and porches in my little town were beautiful. Some were solid yellow, or perhaps yellow with white trim. They would do their job to announce the new season. Granny troubled herself each year to plant the bulbs in faith that they would soon bloom and take center stage. This was a statement that announced that we lived in a civilized manner and enjoyed nature’s beauty.
These little garden flowers were but the first movement of a grand symphony that would burst out all around us, turning our heads at the majesty of the composition. There wouldn’t be but a few intermediate notes before the displays of flowering trees would crescendo in pink with loads of pear, cherry, tulip poplar, and dogwood. But even as these opened in full bloom the azaleas joined the orchestra even as lilies would repeat theme of the earlier song and the gardens would burst in a grand finale of colorful pleasure.
I remember days long gone by when I took out our push reel mower and hand sickle for the first cutting. One of my favorite memories was the smell of the fresh cut grass that almost always had wild, green onions in the mix. Mowing, when followed by a light spring shower, would take me to a place where I could be in solitude and meditate. I gloried in the wonders of life that renewed hope during this special season. Those times were so sweet.
Alas, life is full of interruptions, isn’t it? Distraction came too soon. It became time for doing this or that, or perhaps a friend showed up unexpectedly, or a grownup called us to do a chore. It isn’t enough to trim the bushes but one must pick up the debris for disposal. In every life there is trimming and raking, but in His wisdom He lets us smell the flowers.
Now is the time to sow early crops and plant the spring seed for harvesting even as we later plant vegetables in our summer garden. Whether a cold frame, a greenhouse, or a sunny window, little tomato plants are getting ready for a trip in warm soil that will take them into adulthood. This is when they, too, will bloom and produce the fruit that will fulfill their purpose. It makes me wonder about my personal trip through grade school, high school, college, a career, and more careers, if the fruit is all it might have been. I see life as seasons, each with its own purpose, but who can ignore the beauty of changing flowers to follow during April or May?
Looking back there were mistakes made in our lives that brought regret, but along with that there was also a mixture of joy in answered prayers and a rainbow of hope for our futures. We had friends to help us and perhaps to suggest solutions. They shared our pain and celebrated our victories. All these things made us grow into who we are today. I have seen many springs and my share of flowers. I have enjoyed the color and the music, and can now rest in a peace that is sweet.
The neat thing is none of us are a symphony in ourselves. We are but one flower, or one instrument, or one sound, but together we are life and everything worthwhile. Even when in distress we have known the kindness and grace of God and seen His grand work in our lives and in the lives of others.
Many of us see spring as the promise of resurrection, like an awakening from a long winter’s nap, or maybe a celebration we have made it another year. A dear friend thanks God every day for another day on planet earth. To him, spring is every morning. How wonderful that thought. Well, whatever it is to you, it is here and promises to be too good to miss. Take a breath, exhale, and open your eyes to the beauty that is to come. May this season bring you peace and joy.