Spring is sometimes a tease. She peeks her head out from behind Winter’s skirts just long enough to get us excited before ducking back and leaving us to shiver for a few more weeks. I can’t complain about the random 60+ degree days we’ve been having lately, but about this time of year, I begin to get very anxious for spring to come and stay.
(Since I missed doing a history post this month . . . for an entertaining, five-minute break from work, check out these hilarious facts about the origins of Groundhog Day and its faithful host, Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary. Apparently, Phil predicted an early spring this year—I’m keeping my fingers crossed.)
I remember a few years ago, as I was walking across my college campus, I looked up and saw a bird’s nest high in the branches of a barren tree. It felt like such an odd dichotomy to me, since I generally view birds’ nests as a sign of spring or summer. But the more I thought about it, the more appropriate it seemed. Isn’t it just like God to leave us reminders of what has been and what will be again in order to give us hope? To remind us that, in fact, it is not always winter and never Christmas and that as soon as he shakes his mane, we will indeed have spring again?
Blackened branches extend starkly
Against Winter’s barren sky.
Charred by Frost’s frozen flames,
The tree’s fingers stretch heavenward,
Begging mercy, release, relief.
Grey clouds stand indifferent guard,
Maintaining Earth’s prison sentence.
Condemned to snow, sleet, ice,
The lands below surrender to cold,
Resigning to malice, slavery, suffering.
A bird’s nest rests in highest branches,
A fragile reminder of days long past.
Surrounded by Joy’s mirthful laugh,
New life came bounding forth,
Rebuffing sorrow, darkness, hate.
Now, the nest sings Hope’s song,
A promise of lands beyond.
Ruled by Spring, the fairest queen,
Colors join in Life’s wild dance,
Reveling in laughter, light, Grace.
A couple years ago, during a particularly difficult winter, I tried Ann Voskamp’s practice of recording the simple blessings of every day. Looking back at those blessings now, I smile as I see how many of them related to looking forward to spring.
- Warm, moist air smelling of green, living things
- Spongy brown moss under my fingers
- The sound of a leaf falling from a tree
- Daylight when I leave work
- Birds chirping toward a blue sky in the morning
- A whirlwind of leaves tumbling across the grass toward me
- A profusion of red, yellow, orange, blue, purple daffodils and tulips
- The first warm day that hints of spring
On those days when Winter seems never-ending, will you join me in looking for the nests that hint of Spring?