Under ominous skies, the first of our April showers approaches. But we don't have to wait until May for our flowers. Truth be told, the daffodils and tulips are already beginning to bloom, and some have shared their sweet palate of color with us for many days already.
Springtime beat the robins to my backyard this year. Usually, through the cold and blustery month of March, these harbingers of spring with their russet breasts and bright yellow beaks hop around last year’s lawn looking for bits of something to eat.
This year, we experienced an unusual warm spell in mid-March. Record-setting temperatures caused my white magnolia to bloom over a month early. Sadly its normally long-lasting tepals turned brown and blew off within days due to the extreme heat. It usually is not eighty degrees when my magnolia tree blooms!
Winter hats, coats, gloves and scarves were discarded as we dug out our shorts and tank tops. I found the heat exhausting, too much too soon, but still didn’t want to complain. After months of cold, even a mild winter like last season’s can wear on you after awhile.
The gift of all of this warm weather has been the early flowers, and new leaves on the trees and shrubs. Green looks great on the natural world, especially after months of seeing only brown or white in the landscape. Several neighbors have already cut their grass. They seem to be enjoying getting their mowers out and thankfully storing the snow blowers for the warm seasons.
The bulbs we planted at our church with the Sunday school classes last fall are up and blooming earlier than planned, but since the return to cooler temperatures, the flowers are lasting longer and the blooms should last through Easter day.
Everyone at church is noticing the flowers and commenting on their beauty. We planted about 250 bulbs, about 75 of which were little crocuses. This year the crocuses came and went in a matter of days with the heat.
The tulips and daffodils are in their glory, and I’m amazed how many people have commented to me how beautiful the church grounds appear. While I am thrilled that people would notice our efforts (and thankful that everything actually came up!) my real joy will be to see the children’s faces as they realize how they contributed to adding beauty to their church property. And not just for this season, but for many spring seasons to come.
Our heritage is in our children. Teach them to sow, and to reap. Teach them to sing, and to pray. Show them a merciful God who loves them unconditionally. And love them without reservation. Let them know forgiveness, and teach them to practice it. Demonstrate compassion, and acceptance. The future of humanity depends on it.