April 4, 2013

Aren’t you ready for Spring?  Do you find yourself examining tree branches, hoping to see buds forming? Are you plotting the progress of those early crocuses and daffodils? Do you look longingly at your short-sleeved tops and capris? Have you booked a pedicure, in preparation for tossing those clunky winter boots to the back of the closet?
I sure am! I am eager to spot signs of new life around me; I’m more than ready to bid winter adieu. My apartment has been spring-cleaned, but I want to throw doors and windows open to let the fresh air and sunshine in. I find myself drawn to bold, bright colours – no more grey, no more earth tones! I’m searching for recipes using fresh ingredients (I’m so done with root vegetables until autumn) and snapping up books about container gardening and flower arranging. I’m looking forward to that first day I can walk to work without muffling up in scarf, hat, and gloves.
There is a spiritual truth behind this yearning for fresh, new life.  God reveals Himself and His plan sacramentally – through physical, earthly signs.  I think we intuitively recognize that nature is in sympathy with our own rhythms and cycles. We experience an instinctive slowing down, a dormancy in winter, just as the fields are lying fallow, and living creatures cease their scurrying. We need this apparently dead time for reflection and rest. I believe that when it seems nothing is happening, when it seems our souls are nothing but bare earth, God is planting seeds.*
But now the stone has been rolled away, and the tomb is empty – a sure sign of God’s promise that death has been vanquished, and we are heirs to eternal life.  How exciting! Seeing tulips peep up out of the earth, orchards in bloom, and blue sky days, are signals for us to wake up, too. We feel a renewed vigor, perhaps embrace new resolutions for the season ahead, have a desire to clean everything in sight. Spiritually we begin to see the growth of those seeds God planted in us, just like those tender shoots coming up in the garden.
We are exulting in the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, and the world around us rejoices.

*Discernment is required to determine whether the lack of ‘movement’ in our souls in these times of quiet is good – a gift from God, or a result of not being in a state of grace, in which case a visit to the Confessional is needed to heal  a rift between us and God.


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