Sunshine and Spring Signs

Buddha in old Japanese Garden

Earth sighs. She breathes and the sap flows and thin shoots of crocus break open the ground. Pale green thumbs of daylilies crowd against the warm southwest wall of the house where the snow melts quickly. Snowdrops bloom beneath the tangle that was once a Japanese Garden on the side of St. Aidan’s House.  At night, Orion moves toward the west and the Dipper balances upon its handle. The white-throated sparrows are back, and chickedees sing their two note territorial spring song.  Woodpeckers hammer against the house and trees. Nature knows. She sighs and her moist breath fills the air with loamy sweetness. And sunshine! We’re all giddy as if we’d never seen the sun before.

Saturday afternoon. I’m busy with a project. I’ve been up late every night at my desk and I’ll be up tonight and tomorrow night.  In half and hour I’ll rush over to chapel for choir practice. We’ll sing Lent antiphons prefiguring the mournful tropes of Tenebrae. I’ll run along the path where Bill and I planted all those daffodils last fall – no sign of them yet in the snow.  Bill’s busy collecting buckets full of maple sap.  He brought me a man sized armload of forsythia to force into early blossoms.

Daffodils against the rock wall at the school

For the first time I’m enjoying an intuitive link between the sweet soul growth of Lent and the sighs of earth in spring, between humilty and humus, my fragile humanity, the season of repentance, and the eternal change of seasons. I recently found this poem and my new journal begins with it on a crisp new page of the uncluttered notebook. 

When I look back upon my life nigh spent,
Nigh spent, although the stream as yet flows on,
I more of follies than of sins repent,
Less for offence than love’s shortcomings moan.
With self, O Father, leave me not alone –
Leave not with the beguiler the beguiled;
Besmirched and ragged, Lord, take back thine own:
A fool I bring thee to be made a child.

George MacDonald

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