Heralds of Spring

Canadian Geese Flying in V Formation

For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God. After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the Name. ~  Acts 5: 38 – 41

         The birds around our home were in the throes of mad, secret avian joy, their calls ringing out in exuberance just as the early dawn rays began flaming the skies into golds and yellows and tangerines. One chapter of my life has ended today, and with it, hopefully, much of the darkness. Yet, I greeted the news with an unnatural calmness. For a moment, I wondered if it was because I was not being grateful enough. Nonetheless, I had to admit that I was also very tired, that having given all I had within me these past years, it had likely taken me beyond the point of celebration.

          Still, reaching out to close the old gates behind me and to walk into this next phase of working life, I wished for some joy. Even a spark would have been welcomed.

But there was none. I was well and truly spent.

          It was past twilight when I came to the readings of the final Friday of the month of the Holy Eucharist.

…they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.

          I thought of the calvary we had endured as a family these past years. Cut after cut of an invisible whip, days, weeks and months of it. Fear, anger, pain and shame. Choking grief. Over and over telling God, I cannot go on. I just cannot. Over and over, He had put His hand out to me,

Oh yes, you will.

Do not waver.

Keep going, you’re almost there.

Walk on water.

Meet Me at the other end.

I am already there.

          Each time, impossibly, I would rise to my feet through the love of so, so many who would not give up on me, to let me fall to the earth and die. With their arms about me, each time I managed to stand up and to make my way forwards. On and on till I reached today.

Oh, for just a spark of firelight now at the shores of freedom.

          Just as I was wishing for that special joy to sing once more, something made me look up from my writing. A quick scene on the tv.

A flock of Canada geese intent on their journey across the bluest of skies.

One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of March thaw, is the Spring.   ~  Aldo Leopold

          In that tiny moment, I felt the spark. Even a heart still frozen in the old ice of winter knows that life is about to live once more when the geese are sighted in blue-shot skies.

For they are the heralds of true spring.

Lent 31 ~ Daffodil Hope


          It is something to rejoice over when spring fairies come back to life again. When my friends write about the signs of spring in the air, in their gardens, in the woodlands, it’s hard not to be sweetened to hopefulness.

          This year, one particular flower seemed to be in many places before me – the daffodil.

          On a whim, I decided to look up the symbolism of daffodils. What I read smote my heart gently yet strongly.

Daffodils symbolized rebirth and new beginnings.

Some believed that daffodils bloomed when Christ rose from His tomb.

          Today was to be a busy work day, not necessarily one I looked forward to. I had very little sleep the night before and the morning at home was a wee bit busy. Yet, later, working alongside my colleagues, I was strangely unaffected by their raucous revelry. Slowly, I chipped away at my work and by the end of the day, everything that had to be done, got done.

          But those little accomplishments didn’t swell big for me. I was aware of something else slowly tree-ing within me from afternoon: a mysterious hopefulness. It lifted and lifted, bit by bit, as the bright gold afternoon winds swept higher and higher in some unseen joy.

          Shiny, new hope. Hope that is gentle, yet strong. Something that wasn’t there before.

Lent 12 ~ Would You Come Here?


“Would you be so kind as to come here?”


          An entire night of endless coughing, each bout sending me scurrying to, Go to the spring, drink of it and wash yourself there.

          Then, I was put to the test and I failed.

          Yet, this morning, only the kind heart of a Mother awaited me.

“Would you be so kind as to come here?”

These were the words of Our Lady to Bernadette at the third apparition. These strikingly courteous and homely words are not a command but an invitation to leave everything else aside and come spend time with Mary.   ~   Father John Lochran, chaplain to the English-speaking pilgrims to Lourdes between 1985 and 1995, 150 Years of God’s Healing Care, Franciscan Media

          I’ve been unwell for close to a week, yet unable to take sick leave due to work responsibilities. I cleared some of that work last Friday and now, I suddenly suspect why I don’t seem to be improving fast enough despite medication: it’s time to take the leave from work. Time to be still.

To leave everything else aside and come spend time with Mary. 






Lent 9 – God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob


God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are You.

turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness.   ~   Esther 4: 14, 30


          Not the easiest of days, yet a Hand is over my heart today, no permission granted to ache or hurt for myself. Today, twice, a commenter has reminded me, Spring is on its way! How beautiful! How especially beautiful on this day of my friends’ soft tears and trembling smiles. Today, I tread carefully among the wounded, touching sorrowing hearts, willing them to believe that spring is coming even as it seems winter won’t let go, in the hiddenness of my own heart, praying,

God of Abraham,

God of Isaac,

God of Jacob,

turn our mourning into gladness,

and our sorrows into joy,

Blessed be God,

Blessed be God,

Blessed be God.





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