"To everything -- turn, turn, turn
There is a season -- turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven"
-- Turn, Turn, Turn by Pete Seeger, adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes.
When I look at a stand of bare trees in the cold solitude of winter, I can't imagine what they look like in mid-summer full of leaves and life. Likewise, when I look at a mighty oak tree in the warm sun of July I can't image what it looks like in stripped down winter silhouette.
Somehow my brain just won't let this happen. I am generally able to hold two opposing thoughts in my head at once, yet when it comes to this one situation, I am unable to imagine one situation, while looking at the other.
During spring though, when the trees are filled with blossoms and new light green leaves, no longer just empty branches and before they grow big deep green leaves -- I am able to see both worlds.
It may be cliché to call spring a rebirth, maybe a reawakening is a better term?
In ancient times people used their surrounding environment to gauge what their actions should be. I think events such as the return of a tree's leaves are chapters in the season's book, and I believe flowers have always been characters that weave themselves through nature's narrative.
Growing up in Rhode Island, I remember the crocuses literally pushing themselves up through the icy snow as the first sign of spring, long before the trees were even thinking about budding. I hear tell that the crocuses are just coming up this year, giving hope for an end to the epic winter New England has endured. On the heals of the crocuses are the yellow and white daffodils, then as the waters run free of ice and grass turns green again the tulips erupt across the landscape. This gives us mere mortals the needed faith to persevere as the days get longer.
As the iris bloom the trees blossom, cherry, apple and peach... and magnolia out West. The shade they provide will protect the long stemmed lilies which sneak up on us, as they take many weeks to grow but we don't notice them until the blooms demand our attention.
Whether you celebrate Passover, Easter or Earth Day savor this moment.
Winter trudges through darkness and cold, summer with heat, humidity and daylight that never ends, followed by autumn with dry days and chilly nights, yet it is spring that nourishes our soul and allows us a to gather a years worth of energy, strength and faith.
Take deep breathes. The power of spring is upon us.