In spite of Winter’s last sigh of snow on Wednesday, Spring has gracefully swept into the farm this weekend, greeting us with chirping robins and cheerful daffodils. The perennial flower beds, filled with leaves, are showing signs of life. Green shoots of lilies, iris, and tulips stretch their arms towards the heavens as if to say, “Welcome, Spring! We’re glad you’re here!”
There’s something very symbolic about new, green life peeking through dark, dead leaves, especially during the season of Lent. We spend these weeks in a period of quiet reserve, giving up and working through distractions that pull us away from our Creator. Yet all the while, we are growing and reaching towards the Light that will be celebrated on Easter Sunday.
As I stood outside this morning at sunrise, I was reminded of an interview with Vigen Guroian from On Being with Krista Tippett. In it, he shared the most beautiful metaphor for Lent as it relates to gardening:
. . .when I get into the garden in the spring and I’m getting ready for it — here it comes, this comes pretty early in central Virginia — well, what am I doing during Lent in particular? I’m digging out weeds that have died; I’m cleaning out the garden. It’s a messy business and it’s not terribly pleasant. But what is the reward for that, you know. The sacrifice is more than worth it. And in the process of doing this task, which one would rather avoid in certain days in particular when the weather isn’t so great perhaps, and the task of very doing it, my senses are being brought alive. . . And that means that I’m tuning my body, I’m cleansing my soul, I’m making myself ready to receive the gift. . .
This afternoon, I will return to my flower beds and begin unpeeling the layers of leaves away from the flowers. I’ll clean out the dirty and dead things that keep light from coming in. In the midst of this work, I’ll feel the cool breeze blow across my skin and the warm sun shine on my neck, and I’ll lift of a prayer of gratitude for all the blessings that this new season will bring.