Songbird says at RevGals: My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. - Song of Solomon 2:10-13
In the late, late winter, as the snow begins to recede here in Maine, we begin to look almost desperately for signs of spring, signs of hope that the weather has turned and a new day is on the horizon. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Easter and Spring twine inextricably, the crocuses and daffodils peeking through the Earth as we await the risen Christ.
Share with us five signs of hope that you can see today or have experienced in the past.
1) In north Texas we are quite a bit farther along with the Springing of Spring than those of you in northern climes. Fruit trees and forsythia have flowered and are now breaking into leaf; irises are out, and tulips and daffodils shine. Squirrels and birds are nesting.
This morning at 8:44 a.m. (the moment of the Vernal Equinox, or Ostara) I went outside with my coffee for a thanksgiving moment, and observed a squirrel headed into its dray (nest). I had not known there was a dray in that tree, just next to where I enter my building, and so I am delighted to know that I can look to them each time I enter and leave the office for a sign of new life.
2) In my previous two posts is an indication of a rebirth coming about in my life. I am still profoundly stunned by this process and feel rather underwater with it. But the fact that I was able to write about it gives me hope that I will surface soon.
3) I had three evening events at church this week. That happens once a month, when two monthly and one weekly event coincide. I had been laying out of church choir, so I went from NO evenings at church (for about a month) to three in a row. And I was shocked and amazed to realize, as last night's meeting ended, that I was not EXHAUSTED and stressed. That has, in the past, been the way I've felt ending a day with a church event. It goes back to number 2, I'm sure.
4) My brother Bill died on April 6 last year, the day after my birthday. It's been a strange and painful process to move through this year...we were not close and so it wasn't THAT kind of grieving process. But his wife and son are moving through, I think, and I am grateful for that.
5) And of course the BE 2.0 retreat in Arizona, 27 days from now. The time last year was such a gift of time away in community, made more precious by the fact that old and new friends, most of whom had never met face to face, were coming together as sisters. I am excited about meeting the folks who will join us this year for the first time! And about learning from and sharing time with Wil Gafney, whose book I am reading in preparation for the retreat, and for which I'll be leading the RG discussion on April 27th.
What's giving you hope?