Friday, March 13, 2009
Sure signs of spring
I was looking out my kitchen window today, when I spotted the one thing that is sure to bring a smile to my face at this time of year -- a hardy little snowdrop with bright green leaves and delicate white flowers standing out against the dreary brown earth of winter. This one little snowdrop that you see in the photo above is always the first thing to come back to life each year in our yard. I know that other signs of spring will follow in fairly rapid succession, each one bringing us one step closer to the promise of lush green that will eventually surround us.
Just last week I was talking to some Sisters of Saint Joseph about the importance of taking time for spiritual retreats. And one of the sisters compared the growth experienced on a retreat to what I'm witnessing in my yard right now. In the dark, underground, where no one else can see, growth occurs. Roots grow deeper, life gets stronger, and suddenly there is s flower where there was once nothing. So it is with our spiritual journey. In the deep and dark recesses of our hearts, growth happens hidden from sight. We may look at ourselves and see the same old same old, and then one day something changes, something blossoms, and we realize that we were sending out spiritual roots in the quiet stillness, waiting for the moment when our true self could emerge for all the world to see.
Snowdrops were one of my favorite discoveries when we moved to upstate New York. And although I love the flowers that are to come, these little white signs of determination and hope are special to me. Imagine what I'll be like by the time the bleeding heart and lilacs leaf out.