Looking for signs of spring

Spring seems to have sprung a spring. This year a strange astronomical algorithm positioned Easter so early that it felt more like Groundhog Day than the resurrection of our savior.

Spring seems to have sprung a spring. This year a strange astronomical algorithm positioned Easter so early that it felt more like Groundhog Day than the resurrection of our savior.

It seems Jesus was born and immediately crucified. Clearly he saw his shadow, the groundhog that is, because six more weeks of winter followed … or is it 12 more weeks.

Our early Easter was soon followed by a late snow. This led to unusual consequences such as snowed out softball games and spring break ski vacations … in one’s own back yard. All a bit apocalyptic if you ask me.

Of course, there have been some signs of spring. The daffodils found a way to poke through the permafrost and announce an “all’s clear” for the tulips. The tulips seem less certain about the matter. The flowering plumb trees have given up on dormancy to once again burst on the scene, drawing pink poetic contrast to tornadoesque skies.

Even so, this year the plumb blossoms appear particularly susceptible to the whims of prevailing winds. A rain and wind, one-two punch, quickly could change that canvas.

Along with the plumb blossoms, retention pond frog choirs have burst upon the scene. In the modern era, every new housing development comes replete with a centralized frog colony disguised as a “pond.”

As soon as the pond thaws, frogs begin their nightly serenade from their fenced enclosure. Frogs are less inhibited singers when surrounded by two thousand of their closest friends. Their melody draws an awkward contrast to such gentrified surroundings.

Spring is winter’s surprise ending. Unfortunately, in the Northwest, winter’s ending can be surprisingly long. Consequently, we sometimes try and force spring’s hand. We do irrational things such as plant vegetable gardens or flower beds at the first sight of sun.

Trying to determine the last frost is akin to water witching. There is just no science to spring’s arrival. Mystery is spring’s guardian, whimsy is spring’s pace. There are four seasons and faith demands a spring, so spring comes.

Some of you may be less certain about the certainty of spring. The cliche is “hope springs eternal.” Unfortunately, despair also can have an eternal quality. It is easy to get clouded and muddled in a cold, dark, and rainy northwest winter. A low grade depression can inflict even the most jovial among us. By winter’s end, we can find ourselves in a bit of a pit.

Even so … spring will come. Despite winter’s sting, spring will become a revelation. Life will bud and blossom, green will cover the brown, and mowers will once again monopolize our spare time.

To all my frozen, chosen friends, a spring prayer for you. May God’s grace warm your heart in such a manner that you can do but one thing: bloom bright and beautiful. May you live in God’s eternal spring, ever growing, ever green.

Doug Bursch is the pastor of Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Riverside High School Theater. He can be reached at www.yesevergreen.org or evergreenlife@mac.com.

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