Winter's Gifts and Spring's Inspiring Promise
Point to Ponder:
What gifts did the Winter season bring you and excites you about Spring?
I feel like I blinked and it's Spring. In fact, the first day of Spring is this Tuesday, March 20 and it seems as though the timing from one season to the next is perfect. I'm pretty sure that's part of God's perfect plan in giving us what we need, just when we need it. Can you imagine not having changing seasons?! Ugh, life would be stagnant and boring, as each season brings authentic beauty and qualities that guide, inspire and teach us. Just think about it.... can you imagine if it was always Spring, Fall, Winter or Summer. Even though we all have a favorite season, too much of anything is too much and we do have a tendency to take things for granted. Variety is for sure the spice of life which keeps life interesting and exciting. The changing seasons provide that perfect blend of necessary change.
I also think that each season brings her own special and personal message. For spring, it's the sweet reminder of re-birth and renewal, as just when Winter has taken it's toll on our body, mind and spirit, Spring comes around, the Earth wakes up and explodes with new life. Spring is a time for simplicity, purging, sewing new needs, new projects, new ideas and curiosity. It's the season of inspiration, which is written so eloquently by Christine Fitzgerald:
There is a season that calls man to pause amid the clamor of noise, the busy agitation of life and invites him to wonder. It is Spring, which is a symbol of the renewal of life and of hope for the future. Perhaps it is not by chance that Easter, which celebrates the Resurrection of Christ, is in the Spring. For with this, everything changed, the winter of sin closed and a new life filled with supernatural grace came to us. Certainly Spring, abounding with natural grace and promises, reminds us of that. In relation to a man’s life cycle, Spring is compared to the time where he was full of promises, marvelous ideas and lofty hopes, that is, his childhood. In Winter, all of nature, animals, bugs, trees and flowers sleep. The leaves have fallen from the trees, leaving only brown sticks. Then, with Spring, other brown sticks somehow know that they must produce not only green leaves but also exquisite, velvety rose petals, hundreds of them, which exude an aura of perfume! The bees begin to venture out of their hives, their stored supplies of honey depleted. Everything in their hive is in perfect order. They all know their place and their job.
They have a sense of purpose about themselves – they waste no time. Nature has told them they have only a season to fulfill their reason for being and they go about it with enthusiasm. For this reason, bees are said to signify vigilance (they were thought to never sleep), and also purity because they feed off blossoms.
The butterfly hatches first into a caterpillar. In nature, an ugly and awkward worm “dies” in the cocoon and then it “resurrects” in a new and marvelous shape--the butterfly. The caterpillar signifies the present life, the cocoon is death, and the butterfly that emerges from the cocoon to full glory of life. What purposes have the butterflies if not to dress up the Spring scene? They give such joy to people that many plant butterfly gardens with the hope that butterflies will be attracted there. The beautiful butterflies called the Monarchs, in their black and orange regalia travel all the way from Mexico where they have spent the Winter. It has recently been discovered that all of the Monarch's in North America return to the same place every Winter, some traveling over 2,000 miles. Nothing thwarts the decrepit theory of evolution quite as effectively as the annual drama of Spring where every animal, tree and plant arouses with a new energy and blossoms in accordance with a wise and an unseen plan, in a specific order, year after year.
As Winter comes to an end and Spring begins, I encourage you to pause and contemplate the gifts that Winter brought you, your family and community, while also pausing to receive the offerings of Spring: the warmer and longer days, sweet and inspiring sounds of nature along with her refreshing and invigorating smells. As often encouraged, our best life is filled with gratitude. Therefore, giving winter a proper and grateful send-off while also welcoming spring with gratitude and excitement will allow us to close the door of Winter with no regrets and enter Spring with an exhilarated and optimistic outlook for her inspiring promises.
Pause to receive the offerings of Spring: the warmer and longer days, sweet and inspiring sounds of nature along with her refreshing and invigorating smells. Give winter a proper and grateful send-off while also welcoming spring with gratitude and excitement will allow us to close the door of Winter with no regrets and enter Spring with an exhilarated and optimistic outlook for her inspiring promises.
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