As I hurried out to the bird feeders with seed yesterday morning, I was greeted with the faces of my beautiful crocuses blooming in the midst of the old leaf mulch from last fall. It has been too snowy and wet to rake out the mulch from my gardens yet, but these hardy little crocuses didn't care. It was time for them to bloom and they pushed their way through the autumn debris to the sunlight beckoning them upward.
This rebirth in springtime is especially meaningful this year, because the crocuses bloomed the day after Easter Sunday, the celebration of the rebirth of Jesus. Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays. When my children were little, I cherished our time together making Easter egg trees and placing stuffed bunnies and baskets around the house. I remember the pleasure of filling baskets the night before Easter and sitting in church with my little ones in their Easter finery.
This year my Easter weekend was a busy one. On Friday night I gathered my children and grandchildren around the table for an early celebration, as they were leaving on a vacation Easter morning. On Easter day, we had a quiet celebration for six loved ones late in the day. Easter is such a joyful day -- giving us the gift of faith that no matter how badly our lives go off track, there is always redemption for us. We, too, will be reborn.
With my grandchildren on vacation, I find myself with a lovely vacation, also. There are so many things I want to do on these days when I am free from responsibility. The days will pass so quickly, and I have so many plans. At the top of my to-do list, though, is to work outside in the garden -- to gently rake out the leaf mulch from around all the perennials. This takes time, and if the weather forecast is correct, it will be chilly as I work, but the work is soulful -- as I carefully remove the old leaves, I am always astonished at the tiny little green plants sprouting there. How can they possibly be so green when they are hidden away from the sunshine and rooted in cold ground? What a treasure they are -- what a perfect example of rebirth.
On this April morning, the maple tree outside my window carries whispy buds, the daffodils and tulips are peeking through the ground, and the birds are singing before dawn each morning, scouting out nesting spots and courting mates. Already my two birdhouses on the porch have been claimed by sparrows.
How lovely to carry the assurance in our hearts that after the depths of winter comes the rebirth of spring -- not only in nature, but in our own lives. A blessing on us all --