Yesterday I sat on the front lawn with my twin girls and we had a go at making dandelion chains. We twisted the green stems into loose knots, snapped and tugged, soft yellow heads bobbing. I watched my daughter’s fingers hook weeds, fumble and find, fascinated by her determination, comforted by her small body next to mine.
It was finally warm enough to sit outside. We let the sunshine seep into our bones. We didn’t speak. The moment was quiet, pleasant, and I felt mighty grateful for Spring.
I know our seasons differ around the globe, but the long-awaited turn from winter here, where skiers still dig into slopes and peaks are still cloaked in white, is cause to celebrate.
So, for your enjoyment –
A favorite from Hopkins. With his contrasting language, that both floats and anchors the poem, and makes us pause over the word, Christ.
By Gerard Manley Hopkins
On Dying Young in April (for Ellen)By Nancy Hanks Baird
One hundred dollars worth of tulips buried in the fall, a pittance thrown at death’s rampage cannot prevent this leaving. An Easter wind rattles the trees, thins the pallid sunlight, cotton seeds collide randomly, like one hundred peals of laughter. The earth shudders, opens its clenched fingers raises up the burning tulips. If I could take your tired face in my hands, whisper to the confusion in your eyes, I would tell you, softer than the April wind, more gentle than the cotton, the secret for living and dying is in the children. Timid, bawdy, brave as the first day of Spring, sturdy as tulips, abandoned as the cotton, sober and wise as angels, they wake and sleep in wholeness. If I could put my child in your arms, lay her cheek against your breast, pat your throat with her healing hand, she could not cure what the disease has stolen, but she would heal with her purity the wounds. So when earth wraps you in gentle arms, lays you tenderly down in the tulips, look for the children, menders of the breach. Go in joy and wholeness with the children.
Images you loved? Thoughts on Spring? How are children like Spring? How do you feel when Spring comes to you, no matter the season?