The last days of Lent

It is only mid-April. We have the hints of spring here and there. Last night we had a hard freeze, which meant that the most vulnerable of my plants needed protection from the cold. While I could move the planters into the garage or cover window boxes, I couldn’t move my prize peony, one that is from a start from my grandmother’s garden. (I admit. I baby it!)  Since the peony has just sprouted, it is a little more vulnerable to the frost. I put a box on top of it, weighted it down with large rocks, and hoped for the best.

This morning, I checked the plants, and they are all fine. But the rocks, frozen solid into the top of the box, were stunning. It looked like a modern art piece. You know. Something like “Rocks on a Box.”

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It was lunchtime before the ice had melted enough that I could pry the rocks from the ice. We’ll have to set the box back over the peonies tonight, but for now, the plants are enjoying the sunshine of a fine spring day.

I thought about the changes that have come over my yard since Lent began. When I first walked my labyrinth in the early weeks of March, there was snow…

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In between snow storms, there was a fine sea of mud…

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And now we have the hints of green. It’s time to brush away the leaves, pick up branches and start really looking for signs of spring. Like the forsythia. And the vinca. And the daffodils. And the oak and maple trees.

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Life and growth return slowly when things have been dormant. This is true in the cycle of winter to spring, and it’s true in my own spiritual life.

Change and growth never seem to be fast enough, at least, not for me. The process is not a linear one, it’s more in fits and starts. And it is only looking back, thoughtfully and kindly at ourselves and others, that we see change.

In my Lenten disciplines, I’ve tried to be more intentional about what I eat, and how I spend my time. I’ve worked on mindfulness of my self care and my awareness of God’s work in my life. The changes are slow, but they can be seen.

Thanks be to God.

New life, New growth

New life, New growth

Love lives again, as with the dead has been. Love will come again as fruit that springeth green.

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