What is springtime? Springtime is not a season here in the Philippines like it is in Vermont, USA, where I grew up. Springtime is the time of anticipation between winter and summer. It brings the hopeful certainty that the cold weather and freezing winds of winter are leaving us and that summer is on its way.
I would excitedly search out the first wild flowers in our nearby woodland, small fragile blossoms that would poke their heads through a lingering patch of snow. Mom and I would gather lilac branches, bring them indoors, set them in a vase of water, and watch them bud and bloom. We would begin planning our vegetable garden, which seeds we would plant first. We would watch for the first greening of the fields, and for the first little buds on the trees that soon would burst into life forming a leafy canopy over our front yard.
Springtime in Vermont is also mud time. As the snow melts, the earth gets over-saturated with water resulting in several inches to several feet of mud in the dirt paths, roads and backyards that have no grass or asphalt cover. Mud is sloppy, slippery, gooshy, and dirty; it sticks to whatever touches it. It makes delightful mudpies for springtime tea parties. The mud also makes wonderful tracks into the house, although the cleaning up is a chore no one likes.
Springtime of the soul! Yes, my soul is full of hope and anticipation of what lies ahead. Yes, my soul is also filled with mud from time to time and needs cleaning up. That’s what the Lenten period is for, to clean up the soul, so I can catch the sunlight and breathe in the fresh clean fragrant air of the Resurrection miracle and the Easter season.
“Lent is a time of loving; Easter is the springtime of the soul.” These words always reverberate in me during Holy Week and the Easter season. We experience the love of God as we reflect on the memories of our journey in faith compared to Jesus’ last days on earth. Then we rejoice in the Easter message of the Resurrection that gives us the joyful hope of eternal life.
Our faith in the Resurrection of Jesus and the wonderful message of Easter Hope enables us to look beyond the past, the present, and even our tomorrows. Hope helps us to look beyond our present difficulties, anxieties, sorrows, hardships, sufferings, fears, and irritations. Hope challenges us to look beyond the often muddy “now” to the reality of heaven and eternity. This Resurrection Hope is what springtime is all about!
This is a season of renewal, hope, replenishment and expectation. It is a season for fresh new growth. Whatever we are hoping and waiting for – joy, peace of mind, contentment, grace, more harmonious relationships, a more fruitful life – these can surely come to us, but only when we are ready to clean out the mud in our life and open heart and mind to the true spirit of Easter and Springtime.
As this spirit of springtime embraces me, my heart sings and my feet begin to dance. Yes, springtime is a season of the heart, of the soul. No matter who we are, or where we are, or what our circumstances may be, we can always welcome Easter Hope and the Springtime of our soul, the season of our heart’s joy!
May you rejoice, dance and sing with me this Easter springtime!