Here in the northern hemisphere, today is the first day of spring.
You may have missed this, given all that is happening in the world. I almost did. It’s a small, seemingly inconsequential thing, buried as it is amongst death tolls and job losses and “shelter-in-place” orders.
Easy to let it slip by, unnoticed, unmarked.
For the past week, I’ve wanted to write, but I haven’t known what to say.
Everything, it seems, has been said (including much that shouldn’t have ever been said). The Internet is awash with tips and tricks to survive this time. I’ve read articles exhorting us to stay home, to trust God, to not panic; pored over photos and stories of life in this strange new world in which we find ourselves.
The last thing I want to do is add to the noise.
I needed spring this morning.
I enjoy winter. I like the cold weather, the sweaters, the soups and stews. I like wrapping myself in a warm blanket with a mug of something hot, sitting next to the fire with a good book. I like the shorter days, the cozy nights.
But we had a late dose of winter this past weekend, a sudden snow storm after a month of warm weather, and on Monday morning, when we woke up, the power was out.
On top of everything else, it just felt like a lot.
Today, though, the sun came out. The sky was a perfect, glorious shade of blue. The clouds were the puffy, happy, friendly type, not the ominous glowerers of the weekend.
After the darkness of the past several days, it felt like a promise. A benediction. A glimpse of something better.
It felt like hope.
The vernal equinox doesn’t always fall on the same date.
Did you know that, this year, it’s the earliest it’s been since 1896?
I didn’t either, but it’s true. Look it up.
Even as I type these words, the light in the room dims. I look outside to see a sky smudged black. Thunder booms.
Now, the hail falls steadily, forming piles on the deck, the patio, the skylight.
It shows no sign of letting up.
I’m fumbling for words, struggling to give shape to my thoughts about the state of affairs.
It’s imperfect, but this is what I have:
The sky is smudged black. Thunder booms. Hail falls. It shows no sign of letting up.
The storm is real. The darkness is real. The pain and the suffering are real. They cannot be ignored. They must not be minimized.
And yet, even during the worst of the storm, even during the darkest moments when it seems it will never end, the deeper reality is this:
Spring is here. It is both now and not yet, coming when we did not expect it.
Spring is here.