My sister and I bought the little pot of miniature daffodils a few years ago for our mom. In fall and early winter, it sits empty, the bare brown bulbs apparently dead. But each spring, fresh shoots of green spear above the earth. And then open the delicate yellow blooms, bugling spring. Resurrection. Hope reborn.
When I lived in Oxford, England for a college term, I was surprised to see hints of spring as early as February there as well, thrilling me with bursts of English blooms I had before known only through the pages of The Secret Garden. Here is an excerpt from my journal for “10 February,” as I quickly learned to write the date while in Britain:
At the farmers’ market—one of my favorite parts of the week—I saw my first snowdrops at the flower booth. I don’t think I had even seen a picture of them before, just read about them in some of my favorite English books. They weren’t quite how I had imagined them, but they were even more beautiful than I had pictured. Then while walking I saw purple crocuses in someone’s yard! I had never seen crocuses in real life before either. The Oxford spring is barely beginning, but already it is so lovely… Yesterday (Saturday) I wended my way northwards to the Summertown branch of the city library…the sun blessing my face and hands, the birds twittering their dear little songs of praise, trees budding into delicate mists of pale pink and white, crocuses, daffodils, and snowdrops in garden after garden. I joined the birds in singing to the Creator for much of the way!
I’ve sometimes huffed at how “wrong” the seasons seem in southern California—isn’t February still supposed to be winter? Then in Oxford, I think I figured that if spring began in February in England, it couldn’t be wrong. 🙂 But the Lord is teaching me to appreciate spring wherever He causes it to appear…His love-notes of hope, of life out of death. Teaching me to see Him, to see Jesus in pink and white blossoms from bare branches, in trumpeting golden flowers from brown bulbs and dirt.
As we approach the season of Lent, Lord, make my heart soft and ready to listen, and to see.