This is now the 32nd Spring that I have lived on this great planet of ours. And I am ashamed to say that for the 31 or so prior to it I was too busy with the stuff of Spring to really take notice of the miracles that happen around us.
Truth be told, I have always had a love/hate relationship with the Spring season. I love the weather. I hate everything else, like the busyness, the goodbyes, the burden of sitting in an office when the weather is fantastic, the annual reporting, surviving Track season with my sanity intact and recovering from Easter.
It is made worse by the fact that so far I have spent the majority of my life in academia where Spring is such a somber season. There are final papers and final tests, graduation ceremonies and harsh goodbyes. All of this celebrates, or maybe just commemorates, the passing of time, which passes all too quickly.
A very long time ago I wrote a poem for every month of the year during every month of the year. The 3 incredibly cheesy poems for the Spring months were somewhat somber. Here are the opening lines of each:
“March went up, March went down, March went all around.”
“My upset eyes saw April’s morn bring back a lighter day.”
“May, the month of last, the present is now past.”
In my defense the very talented poet T.S. Eliot described April as “the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead ground, mixing memory with desire, stirring dull roots with Spring rain.” (click to read full poem) I memorized that poem in college and have not been able to forget it, because April is the cruelest month, right behind May of course.
In fact since memorizing those lines so long ago, my attitude towards Spring has only slightly improved. Getting out of academia certainly helped. Coaching Track did not, Track being such a stressful and exhausting Sport!
Yet be that as it may, there is certainly a wonderful beauty to the Spring weather, a beauty that tries its hardest to preach hope and peace amid the frantic despair of goodbyes and final papers and everyone’s lack of motivation. Perhaps this is why the Song of Solomon is more upbeat than T.S. Eliot and me. In the only verse from Song of Songs you are allowed to read out loud, the beloved announces, “Flowers appear on the earth, the season of singing has come!”
And why shouldn’t they be singing. These former lifeless branches and weeds who shed their leaves months ago only in hope of surviving the winter, now receive their gracious reward. The season of singing indeed.
This week as I have hurried and scurried about my Spring cleaning and April working, as I have fought myself like crazy to stay motivated and as I have reflected on the sorrow of Springs past, I can’t help but hear the sermons and the songs from the branches and plants who proclaim the joy of resurrection and the hope of glory.
Yesterday as I contemplated all this I took some pictures of trees around my church and house. They are below with some captions but I hope you study the pictures and hear the song of Creation New and Creation Old.