This day and the last have been beautiful. I am lucky to live in the countryside; the sun has been shining, the birds have been singing, the sky is blue and the blossom is all over the place. And I just feel the need to give thanks for this beauty, and for the feeling of hope and renewal that Spring always engenders in my heart.
Spring is my favourite season. After the short, grey days of winter, with their seemingly endless rain and gloomy clouds, it is so nice to see the odd bit of blue sky and sunshine! I often walk around our village, and notice buds starting to form on the trees and in the hedgerows, and the first brave Spring flowers pushing their heads up through the soil of the verges.
Spring has always been an important season for people, right back to earliest times. Indeed, in "the old days", before we could fly fruit and vegetables into our shops from around the world 365 days a year, the last few weeks of Winter were hard for people, who had to subsist on dried or otherwise preserved greens and fruit until the growing season began again. It is also the time of year when the days start to lengthen, and the evenings and mornings get lighter, and we naturally react to that - we are creatures who need natural light, even if we don't realise it, cocooned in our electric wombs.
I think it is important that we continue to experience the wonder of Spring - the sense of divine renewal, the small annual miracles of the first flowers and the first buds appearing. They have got to be a sign of hope, that Winter cannot last forever. There is the wonderful dichotomy between the revelation of the eternal round, and the revelation of that which is new. Every Spring we encounter something never before seen "which embodies hope and potential for the wholeness which is yet to be."
Spring is also the time when we feel renewed, and have new resources of energy. It is no accident that Spring cleaning has endured as a tradition through the centuries. Partly it is a necessity (more so in times past, when people almost hibernated during the cold winter months, and Spring was the time of the big clear out). But it is almost an instinct too - it is a time for taking stock of what we have, of discarding the broken and the useless, of repairing what is worn but useful, and of setting our faces forward for the new year. If we don't carry out a periodic Spring clean, our lives can become cluttered and stagnant, with no space for renewal and growth. You can guess by this that I'm not just talking about physical Spring cleaning (satisfying though that is) but also about mental and spiritual Spring cleaning. It is only too easy to plod along in the same old ways, carrying out the same old duties, not realising how flat and dull our lives have become. sometimes we need to have a good breath of fresh air blowing through our lives, revitalising us and setting us on a new path in good heart.