Let us draw near to the voice of our risen
Lord Jesus as we glory in His creation.
This is a day of new beginnings: a reprieve from darkness and death… an infusion of light and life. Spring has debuted, and with it, all that is bright and beautiful. I do so love everything blooming! The Bartlett Pear tree’s minute apple green shoots sprouting on once- barren limbs is overshadowed by a profusion of swaying snow-white, blossomed boughs. Pregnant buds of Dogwood are bursting forth in shades of coral, palest pink and white to preach the message of resurrection on each delicate cross-shaped, and blood-stained blossom.
Sunshiny Daffodils bob from side to side in admiration of early friends- Hyacinth and Crocus- whose fortitude first pushed them through frosty, crunchy earth dressed in brilliant yellow, indigo, pink and white to herald Spring’s arrival. Pansies smile in bright full sun. Robed in royal purple, orchid and gold, their laughing eyes search for the first creeping phlox on the stony hillside and the premiere of this season’s showy azaleas: large and small. Lilies of the Valley- rare as perfect gems- are a fragrant reminder of my wedding day so long ago. Bells of Ireland, some reaching toward heaven, others arching their bell-covered, chartreuse stalks to reveal thorny pricks, suggest the heights and depths of young love found and unrequited.
Ah Spring! Its essence unleashes the songs of my heart. Crystal blue skies… crisp, cool breezes… the warmth of sun penetrating the last strongholds that chilled to the bone… the lingering scent of wood-burning fireplaces suddenly displaced by open windows allowing in the smell of fresh-cut grass… walking barefoot in early morning fields still damp from evening dew: these fill all my senses as the earth faithfully awakes each Spring.
I am alive again! Hope is renewed at each bend in the road. Newborn lambs suckle… goats play “king of the hill”… and the creek, filled to capacity by melted snow and frequent Spring showers, races past me to entice little children into wading and testing its icy waters. Lured by the frothy foam and sounds of rushing water falling over rocks, they rush onward – wading deeper and deeper - with ensuing giggles and a crescendo of thunderous laughter as the first fool among them braves full immersion into the frigid pool of water round the bend.
The tantalizing aroma of frying bacon and home-made buttermilk biscuits escapes through open, lace-clad windows. Freshly washed linens… scented with lavender Castile… dance freely on a clothesline strung between the kitchen door and garden arbor. There, the Forsythia’s bold, yellow branches wave in the breeze greeting me like a cheerful, cherished friend; it bids me to come in… to drink a cup of kindness… and warm myself in a love-stitched quilt on the pillow-laden, blue porch swing. I succumb with no complaints. The treasures of peace and serenity wrap me in their bliss.
I hear the warbling of a mockingbird. My eyes search through the tree before me, still bereft of foliage, to find him. He eludes me. In hopes of befriending, or at least enticing the little creature to come near the newly hung feeder filled at first light with shiny black sunflower seeds from summer past, I attempt to repeat his calls. Varying his song as he flits from bush to tree, he masterfully blends into his surround - all grey and silver like the bark of weathered wood. Nothing but the flutter of his winged flight announces him now. Suddenly… bravely… my winged friend abandons his leafy refuge inside the manicured boxwood scrub and flies with haste to perch atop a nearby trellis laden with Spring’s first emerging rosebuds. Crawling out of my luxurious cocoon of pillows and quilts, and leaving behind my steaming teacup, I draw near to the tiny mockingbird’s compelling song. I begin to move gingerly in his direction to get a closer look. Snapping twigs underfoot momentarily disturb his symphony. Alerted to my presence, he turns his head from side to side observing me. My size infers a predator. Fearful, he flies to a barren tree and hops from branch to limb then to twig… but watching still. For a moment, we have connected: two of God’s creatures exploring the earth’s glorious newness with enthusiasm, and yet, crying out for the liberation of that Eternal Spring when lamb and lion shall dwell together in peace.
With gentle steps I slip backward. Gratitude swells in my heart. I am… at last… content to hear more than to see.
Then I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, in the sea, and all that is in them singing:
“To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be praise, honor, glory, and ruling power forever and ever!”
Revelation 5:13 New English Translation
An excerpt from:
“Reflections at the Water’s Edge”
by Charlie Fusco.