I admit it. I love Spring! It literally awakens my soul. There have been decades in my life when I lived in areas that did not have four seasons. Since I began my life in western Pennsylvania I found myself missing that visual palate of change.
I did learn to appreciate the subtle differences in those areas for which the classic definition of “winter, spring, summer, fall” were not descriptive. While we lived in Arizona, we were fortunate enough to see the desert in bloom. It was wonderful. In Panama the tropical lushness was enhanced during a brief couple of months of dry season, when there were even more exquisite blooming plants. In California there is a time of the year when the brown hills turn bright green and mustard and poppies cover the hillsides in yellow and orange. In Florida the differences seem more subtle in my memory although year around there is much beauty to be seen.
I once again live in a region that displays four seasons. The delicate beauty of cherry blossoms, dogwoods, redbud, daffodils, and so much more refresh my spirit and renew my soul. I see new birth and new life all around me. I breathe deeply the warming breezes. I begin to envision new possibilities.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this is when Earth Day is observed. The fragility of the spring blossoms is a visual reminder of the fragility of our planet. Although the blossoms give way to the heartier leaves and plants of summertime, our earth is increasingly not in a similar trajectory. For our planet the fragility of spring is rapidly progressing to the end of autumn and the barrenness of winter.
This spring, this April, let us listen to Spring’s message of beauty and possibilities. Just as the blossoms have within their structure the ability to bear fruit, so can our imagination and commitment to our earth produce new possibilities. We can reorder our way of doing things in order to protect this fragile planet. We can treat the earth gently so that she can thrive. Spring is a reminder of new birth.
I love the hymn “Touch the Earth Lightly”. The lyrics were written by Shirley Erena Murray (1931- ).
Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently,
nourish the life of the world in our care:
gift of great wonder, ours to surrender,
trust for the children tomorrow will be.
Grace and Peace,