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Morning with All of Us Who Mourn

By Karen Austin

Growing up in Southern California denied me the experience of migrating through the intensities of all four seasons.  In Orange County, we had mild summers, few displays of fall foliage, a bit of rain and some fierce Santa Ana winds in the winter, and then a timid showing of springtime flowers.  I never really understood neither the cabin fever of winter nor the spring fever that follows.

Consequently, it took moving to climates further north to discover that I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.   During the four years I lived in Wisconsin, I had a lot of trouble staying awake past 7 pm. I was moody and had very little energy from December through March.   I was overjoyed when spring came in April. (March is merely “mud month” in Wisconsin.)  April brought longer days, milder temperatures and an awakening earth that cheered my spirits.

I witnessed the most brilliant displays of spring during the four years I lived in Washington, DC.  The earth would explode with color: daffodils, tulips, forsythia pushed decaying leaves aside and brought me cheer.  They seemed as Lazarus, coming forth from their tombs to live again.   When the cherry trees were in full bloom, I would drive to the Tidal Basin and jog underneath their branches.  I felt jubilant with these floral fireworks above me.

Not until I had experienced the darkness of a deep winter followed by the color of a vibrant spring did I feel some measure of the joy promised by the Resurrection.  “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalms 30:5).

As we journey through mortality, we all have occasion to mourn.  Our mortality makes us vulnerable to sin and sickness, decay and death, weakness and weariness.  But in our mourning we can comfort each  other while we look with hope to the morning of the resurrection where we will be healed from the ravages of mortality. The sick will be made whole, the dead shall rise again, the weariness of this world will be laid aside for eternal joy.

Please enjoy this powerful Easter hymn performed by a choir of voices and a hand-bell choir and string orchestra. It also includes video of beautiful landscapes as well as video depicting Jesus during passion week. 

“He Is Risen” Mormon Tabernacle Choir

About Karen Austin

After living in UT, HI, CA, VA, DC, WI, WV & KS, Karen now lives in Newburgh, IN with her husband and two children. She's been a BYU writing tutor, an English teacher, technical writer, director of academic support services, and aging studies adjunct. She's reinventing herself--again. New role still pending, but mature athlete, thrift store fashionista, and court jester are strong candidates. She maintains the blog The Generation Above Me.

5 thoughts on “Morning with All of Us Who Mourn”

  1. Oh yes, as someone born and raised in Southern California who now lives in a climate with four distinct seasons, I completely understand the the darkness of the winter and the pure elation of a colorful spring. I'm not sure that the lovely DC springs make the cold winters worth it (and I totally realize that our winters are far from harsh), but I've certainly lived the principle of knowing the sweet after tasting the bitter. I love how nature continually testifies of Christ!

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  2. Spring has zero association with Easter for me – in Australia, Easter is when everything is slowly shutting down in Autumn. I love the associations that an Autumn Easter brings though: there is a slowing and a death for every living thing, but that is (joyously, magnificently, eventually!) countered with a return to light and life in the days to come. Autumn is the Friday, but there is always (beautifully, magnificently, gloriously) a Sunday to look forward to with joy and thanksgiving. Happy Easter!

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  3. Kel: That's an interesting perspective you share with Easter being the "Friday" of passion week in the southern hemisphere. Thanks for taking the time to explain that. Enjoy the holiday weekend.

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  4. I guess my attitude on this would be "This, too, shall pass." I'm a person who gets depressed in summer and can't take bright sunlight/heat, so for me, I get that "joy in the morning" feeling when it starts to cool off in September. I have learned, putting seasonal analogies aside, that tough times do pass, even if I have to work pretty hard to survive them. I used to think "all is lost, I'm so screwed" but now I wait—-not patiently, mind you!—-for good days. Peaceful days. It's a step. Progress, not perfection 🙂

    Lovely prose.

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