Celebrating Spring as We’re Sprung from Our Lockdowns

A 15-minute-old lamb

It’s spring! We are watching the woods on our property, waiting for the light green haze they give off before the trees burst with leaves. Increasing numbers of birds are singing and flying by our windows. On social media people are posting photos of crocuses and snowdrops peaking through the soil. Soon our dry, brown lawns will be lush carpets of green. The air outside is warmer and fresher. We can open our windows!

We here in Ohio are happily anticipating our earth’s rebirth after the dead of winter. This year it coincides with the renewed life and hope we have, thanks to the discovery of the COVID-19 vaccines. After a year of isolation, no longer will we be buried in our homes.

It is a time to marvel again at the beauty of our world: waterfalls and mountains, fields of sunflowers, rainbows. This morning I saw that our Cleveland Botanical Garden is releasing 600 butterflies of nine varieties into its Costa Rica biome. So let’s visit it . . . and our parks and zoos. Let’s go for walks or at least sit outside and soak in the wonder of our earth home. If this time-bound world is so lovely, imagine what the next one will be like!

Here is a fantastic 6-minute view of Finnish fjords via a drone for your enjoyment: https://www.youtube.com/embed/PqyPW-Bdd4E?rel=0

In the spring we aptly celebrate a core mystery of our faith. Jesus taught that a seed must be buried in the ground and die as a seed in order to reappear with new life. This is a metaphor for Easter, when we remember how Jesus died and rose with new, glorious life. It also points to our own resurrection, when we will enjoy a life that is indescribable . . . and when we will be reunited with our loved ones who have slipped into that realm ahead of us.

One of my favorite poems celebrates spring in words. It is a sonnet by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.:


Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         

   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         

   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         

Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         

The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;

   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         

   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         

With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         

What is all this juice and all this joy?         

   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning

In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,         

   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,         

Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,         

   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.    

This is the time when my mom would be decorating Easter eggs. She would melt beeswax in a coffee can lid, dip a straight pin into it, and make quick strokes on an egg. Then the eggs would sit in brilliant Chick-Chick dye overnight. An egg, as you probably know, is an Easter symbol because just as a chick (new life) breaks out of an egg, Jesus broke out of his tomb.

• What is your favorite gift that spring brings?     

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