“Daffodils, that come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of March with beauty… ~The Winter’s Tale | William Shakespeare.
This quote was hanging in my home all throughout my childhood. Long before I studied The Winter’s Tale as an undergraduate literature major, I carried this quote with me and it came to mind yearly at just about this time. While the snow around us melts into puddles that run down the streets, if you look here and there over the next few weeks, you’ll see the buds of daffodils, of crocuses, and the first froth of that lemon yellow forsythia emerging from the depths of winter. March can be a long month, no doubt about that, but if we learn to look for the first signs of spring under the sometimes windy and blustery March skies, we can see the promise of new life at Easter all throughout nature.
So too, do our hearts and souls need to dust off the snow and sleet that have them covered; perhaps covered for longer than just this winter season. The Lenten season is all about repentance, seeking forgiveness, and celebrating once again our personal relationship with God. I would venture to say, from last March until now, our personal relationship with God may have grown even deeper and stronger; isolated from so many, we needed to call on His strength more and more often, leaning on our faith, perhaps much more than we’ve done so in past Lenten seasons.
Let us not, as more and more “signs of life” emerge this spring both in the world that surrounds us and in our own expanding social circles, forget the One who was with us, who carried us from March of last year until now. This Lenten season, while each of us has something to repent for in the quiet of our souls, our reflections daily should take us to a place of thanks, for the solace and comfort God provided us this past year. All this month, as we draw closer and closer to Holy Week, let us each try to set time aside daily, to stop and look for the signs of spring that God sends into our lives, and let us remember to pause and say Thank You…for without His love, nothing else could possibly sustain us all “winter” long.
Wishing you a peaceful Lenten season and a beautiful path to spring.