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The Surprise of Spring

We wait for the “spring of the year” all through Winter. This season where plants literally rise and blossoms burst forth is so welcome when it comes.

It wasn’t until the sixteenth century in England that Spring began to be used to describe this season, the start of which hovers between the beginning and end of March, depending on which calendar we follow. Before then, it was Lenten because of the church year. Spring comes from the Old English verb to leap, burst forth, fly up and grow. And how apt it is! After all our hunkering down, wrapped up to keep out the cold, the first shoots of Spring remind us that the cycles of nature continue.

It is also a season full of surprises; a season that can bring us snow and bright sunshine in the same day: rainbows and thunderstorms, gales and heatwaves. I’m not sure why April Fool’s Day got its name, but I often feel foolish having planted out some gentle flowers or left home without a coat during Spring.

In a way, Spring is a season which teaches us about disappointment. It reminds us that we can never take anything for granted. Those tips of new growth can be withered by a sharp and unexpected frost and the flowers can be hammered by heavy showers. Hope can be short-lived and beauty can fade quickly. Joy and sorrow, hope and disappointment are part of the journey.

The sorrows and disappointments don’t daunt nature, though. She offers her tender shoots to the world season after season and the beauty of flowers continues on regardless. It reminds me that the disappointment passes, even the sharp, take-your-breath-away shock of loss and pain. Something new will grow in its place and when we notice is, the sparks of hope will glow once more.

Spring is a life-force, a life-giving bursting forth of energy and effort. Patience will reward us somehow, probably in the most unexpected ways. Spring is a welcome surprise.

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