“If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come” – Chinese Proverb
The birds have been singing their joy-filled songs for a little while here in the woods of Minnesota, even in the midst of inclement weather. This year, the official greenery that signals spring has been quite slow to make its grand and long anticipated appearance. I dare not say how many times I have looked outside my window to see snowflakes falling in the last seven days. Large, heavy, cartoon-like snowflakes. Last Wednesday, I am afraid it was too much to bear. It snowed all day. The depression of it all weighed heavily on my heart. When one waits so long for winter’s cold bones to once again be covered in the fleshy beauty that God has created, it is difficult to bear Mother Nature and her cruel hand of irony. Birds singing. Snow on the ground.
But today, my lilac bush is budding. The evidence snapped in the picture above. Today, the greenery officially stepped back into our world and the sun flashed her most radiant smile. All seemed to be right with the world again. Finally.
Today also marks the day, seven years ago, that my uncle Jim passed away. The lovely memories I have of him are tucked away for me to pull out any time I fancy, with distinct reminders of him sprinkled in daily life. His smile, his laughter, and his infectious good nature were a blessing to all who knew and loved him. He was my Godfather and I miss him.
One week from today marks the day, 34 years ago, that my paternal grandfather (Jim’s father) passed away. I was only two years old at the time so I do not have memories to cherish, but I know my father does. So, I hold this time of year in serious reverence and admiration of their lives. I hold my father in a cocoon of endearment upon the loss of his brother and his father. I wish that I could wish them back, for their time here with us was too short.
Our spring usually seems all too short as well. If you blink, you might miss it. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy it with gusto! And I don’t mean to imply that loved ones and spring are the same. But I believe when we are gifted life and beauty, we are meant to enjoy them as blessings for however long we are able to behold them.
There will be harsh, difficult, and cruel times. There will also be moments of new life and blooming growth. Just as we keep spring in our hearts during the long winter, we can cherish the spirit of our loved ones to aid us through our darkest days. So, today, in remembrance of two honorable figures in my history, in celebration of their lives and the life of my budding lilac bush, I wish for you greenery – in your life, your world, your garden, and your heart.