Sunday, April 22, 2018

Finally Spring

My kids and I planted bulbs today.  What a difference one week makes!  The spring warmth has brought everyone outdoors.  People are walking and bicycling by the house.  Cars drive slowly down our street with windows wide open.  The park has been full of people all day.  The daffodils are finally blooming and the hyacinths do not seem far behind.  I even noticed some buds on the lilac bush.  The sunshine, the flowers, the happy people-- it all seems so unlikely and so wonderful.  I think we all half-expected that the winter would never actually end.  Just three days ago, it was still snowing.  I know I was not alone in my winter resentment.  Other members of my family have been belly-aching for weeks and last night, as I was preparing to give a speech at a convention in another part of the state, the elderly woman helping me get set up commented that she had been just disgusted with the snow.  I think she almost took the foul weather personally.

In all this sunshine, it seems impossible to ever be gloomy again.  What funny, inconsistent creatures we human beings can be.  My hope rises and falls with the sun.  Or maybe it isn't hope I'm feeling.  Maybe hope isn't a feeling at all.  I think it might, like love, be something far more than an emotion.  We feel affection and cheerfulness more readily when we are warm, comfortable, well-fed, and in good health.  We blossom and sparkle in the bright moments of life and then, when the dark times come, we are all prickles and sharp edges like bare trees in the winter.  But affection and cheer are not the same as Love and Hope which are ours even when we are alone, afraid, tired, cold, and in pain.  I am reminded of a little stained glass decoration my parents kept in our house when I was little.  It said, "I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.  I believe in God even when He is silent."  Do I still believe?  I'm not sure.  I'm not sure, but I think, maybe, I might.

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Finally Spring

My kids and I planted bulbs today.  What a difference one week makes!  The spring warmth has brought everyone outdoors.  People are walking ...