Despite the deep snow that has only recently retreated from this area and bitter cold of the past few nights, these daffodils have pushed their way through the debris from last year’s flower garden. The flower bed where these plants have emerged is on the south-east side of the house and is warmed by direct sunlight and by light reflecting off the light-colored wall behind it.
Creation is accustomed to dealing with the kind of freeze-thaw cycles that these bulbs have been through. Sugar maple trees, for example, need nights with temperatures below freezing followed by days with temperatures well above in order for the sap to begin flowing. We benefit from that phenomenon when we pour maple syrup on our pancakes.
Today my attention was drawn to Ecclesiastes 3:1 in the context of the beginning of Lent: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” The transition from the austerity of winter into the beauty and abundance of spring is flipped on its head when Fat Tuesday turns into Ash Wednesday. Feasting and fasting, celebration and mourning, all have their proper time in our lives. Soon enough we will return to feasting and celebration when crucifixion and burial are overtaken by resurrection. For now, we submit to the discipline of reflection on our frailty.