I live in a bio-region near the east coast that pulses with changes in seasons. I gather in a faith community which follows liturgical seasons with amazing parallels to the changes in deciduous trees (not that I am discounting the evergreens – the hope symbol, reminder that Life is ever present).. Deciduous – tending to fall off. Maple helicopters, the winged seeds, drop off just before the leaves fall on sun-shortened days.
In the Catholic Church, fall portends the beginning of seasons – advent, vigil, waiting in darkness for the coming of light. The dormant season will spring into life about the time we celebrate resurrection. Whether I find myself naturally falling into these familiar patterns, or nature magnetically draws me into its cycles, the seasons speak to me.
That’s why it’s only natural that Easter springs into my days and I find myself standing in front of an empty tomb in amazement. The new greening, the dandelions and dogwood flowers, spring blooming azaleas provide an encouraging, life-giving background; just what I need to make a leap of faith and ask the big questions. Where are the surprises, the unpredictable places in life that leave me speechless and unknowing where to turn? Who are the messengers telling me “don’t be afraid; be amazed.” Look for resurrection, reawakening, rebirth with new eyes; listen with new ears. Can’t you hear the evergreens, shimmering with joy, welcoming back their old friends? Bending a bit closer they whisper “Nice new leaves you’re wearing; you’ve added a bit of girth.”