The Promise of Spring

This is a very difficult time of year for a lot of people. It is as if the colder weather of winter has just worn us out. Some people are struggling with allergies already. Some, like me, are just experiencing more fatigue than usual. And some are struggling with unhappiness and depression.

The weather in March in Pennsylvania is usually pretty dreary so that does not help much either. There is no green yet. The white snow that remains is dirty. The rain and gray sky make our struggles seem even tougher. Yet, as I shared with a friend last week, I love this time of year. There is a certain feeling I have about this time of year, and I remember feeling this way as I trace my memories of many past late winters.

This weekend, though there was a slight drizzle when we headed out, Sophie (my dog) and I did a wonderful trail run on the mountain behind my house. I was so grateful for the opportunity to be in the woods again. I shouted out “Halleluiah!” We have had a hard crusty snow up to my knees for the last several weeks that prevented me from venturing too far into the woods. At one point in our run, it was actually raining pretty hard, but it felt so good. The sun was peeking through the clouds, and it offered me so much hope. I remember feeling this way on a bike ride late winter/early spring several years ago. Of all the bike rides I have done, this one stands out in my mind as one of the best ones even though I was soaking wet.

While I was running and splashing through the snowmelt stream on the trail, I thought about that ride. I realized why it felt so good then and why it felt so good this weekend, and I realized why I love this time of year. It is like being cleansed and prepared for something great to come. I think God instills in us a sense of hope for the spring to come so that we can relate to the greatest springtime blessing of all- the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life.

For me this year, spring is very important. My darkest days of grieving coincided with the longest, darkest nights of the year. That is a lot of dark!!! But I know that even in all that darkness, there is light.

In Pennsylvania, we have rails-to-trails which are trails that are made out of abandoned rail lines. Some of these are really awesome, and we have one near our house that has a railroad tunnel. It is really, really dark. When you ride a bike through it, there is one point where you feel like you are not moving, even though you are pedaling forward. There is, for me, a few seconds that make me feel very disoriented. But I have learned to focus on the tiny little light that is at the end of the tunnel. As I continue moving through the tunnel, the light gets bigger and brighter until finally, I emerge from the tunnel onto the sunny trail again. This is just like spring for me. There is hope in those tiny bursts of light that break through the clouds even if they seem faint like the light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Each of these glimmers of light is a blessing, and a promise that one day we will be bathed completely in the light and love of God.

May you be filled with hope as we emerge into the light and joy of spring!


“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” –Isaiah 60:1


“Hope is patience with the lamp lit.” –Tertullian


God of light and love, I long for you now. Your light awakens my soul. My heart leaps with joy with every glimmer of your light. Thank you for the blessings of spring. Thank you for your ever-present light. Amen.


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