For days I had awaited the coming of spring.  In Wisconsin, it comes late and hesitant, often with unexpected snowstorms. It was now early April, but green grass had not been […]

For days I had awaited the coming of spring.  In Wisconsin, it comes late and hesitant, often with unexpected snowstorms. It was now early April, but green grass had not been seen since December. 

I loved watching for the change of seasons. The very beginning was always elusive. When did the first leaf begin to bud or grass change its tone to bright green? I could never remember.  Suddenly the snow would be gone and green grass everywhere. At just the right moment, creation began again.

This morning, as the first glow of sun peeked over the edge of the valley, everything looked different. A pale green mist had descended on the trees in the night. The air was fragrant and moist as after a newly fallen rain. The snow had melted into the earth, revealing growing grasses beneath. Everywhere there was an awakening, budding out after the long cold sleep. The air was alive with new sounds of chirping and chattering, rising from the earth and trees. New birds appeared: robins and warblers, some with patches of yellow and peach, replacing chickadees, sparrows, and woodpeckers of the winter. The geese had flown north to Canada weeks ago for summer nesting grounds.  Squirrels had lost their white ear tufts, changing into soft brown colors of the warming earth. White blossoms began to bud, urgently responding to the call.

It was just spring. This year I watched carefully, monitoring each evolving change as if for the first time. What had caused this miracle? From bare and frozen trees, new glorious life returned. Forgotten were the days of cold, the snow crusted earth and houses. There was only spring and then summer for many months to come! Hope rose with the change and anything seemed possible again.

It was as if God opened his generous hands and let all gifts fall at once.  No more hidden, His abundant love poured out though every tree and bush. Here was the face of God become visible. Mercy sang out in the humming warm earth of morning, in the budding branches. Mercy in the morning bird song, mercy in the green misted trees.

In his early twenties, the fifteenth century monk Brother Lawrence had a vision of this mercy as he contemplated a barren tree in late winter. He marveled at how this frozen tree would soon revive to sprout leaves again. What was it that moved through its sap to inspire this change at just the perfect time?  He realized the hidden power of God in creation and spent his life dedicating all to know God’s presence. St. Therese saw her life as always carried by the love of Jesus. She knew that only the mercy and power of God that moved all things could transform her. Mother Teresa, who called herself the pencil of God, became an instrument of God’s love to heal and help others. What did the saints know that allowed them to participate so fully in God’s life? Mercy moving through them freely, just as it moved through the budding spring trees.

The sun rose higher above the far hills into a cloudless blue sky. In the morning light, the green mist hovering over the trees deepened into sprouting leaves. The earth smelled pungent and fresh; the grass vibrating in newness. Swallows swooped, darting after insects awakened overnight. In the distance squirrels chased round in happy play. Mercy rose in a crescendo of life. Mercy birthing mercy, endless.

God invited us to know Him, to receive Him. To see and be present in this first moment of creation replayed. To breathe in this life that sustained our own; saturate in this banquet and never forget again.  In this moment of awakened spring, I wondered with Brother Lawrence at God present in the miracle of His creation. Like the sun hidden beneath the clouds, God was there laughing behind everything. Could I trust and allow myself to be carried by Him like the saints or the trees?

All was well on this first morning of spring. We were in God’s hands as we had ever been.

“See that I am God. See that I am in everything. See that I do everything. See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally. See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began, by the same power, wisdom and love with which I made it. How can anything be amiss?” – Julian of Norwich

-Julia Gauvin

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