A. Ray Lee ss

Harbingers of Spring   

A. Ray Lee 

Columnist 

A few weeks ago, we shivered through an arctic blast of bone-chilling weather. At the time spring seemed far in the future. Now we are observing early signs in nature that spring is on its way and will arrive at its usual time. The seasons cycle according to a predetermined schedule and we become accustomed to planning events that happen annually in months leading up to and during each.   

In the world of nature buttercups have pushed their way up through the cold ground and are waving their blooms in the late winter winds. My tulip trees have swelling buds waiting in anticipation of spring and its warmth to burst forth in color. Winter grasses are turning green again after the great freeze from the blast. Wrens are stirring early. We are now watching the swiftly changing weather fronts and wondering if we will escape the inevitable accompanying storms 

Deer, sensing that hunting season has closed, are moving more freely in the final days of rut assuring there will be another crop of fawns in late summer. Ironically Clint’s trail camera caught the picture of a trophy buck just after dark on a field he had left an hour before on closing day.  In a few weeks spring turkey season will be open. My friend Greg, an extraordinary turkey caller, assures me that he has all his gear ready in anticipation of opening day. 

Let me list a few other things influenced by the season that appear on the calendar and are harbingers of spring. The highly hyped Super Bowl is over, and the rage around it has now passed. Since it was played in the season of romance, we are wondering whether Kelce popped the eternal question to Swift. In a few days the excitement surrounding Valentine’s Day and football will be replaced as the race for the final four in the basketball world comes front and center for sports lovers. Following that the opening day for baseball predictions of the teams that will meet in the World Series will be debated although that event is still in the distant future. 

With the occurrence of Ash Wednesday many religious traditions began the observance of Lent, a time of self-denial which will end on Maundy Thursday and culminate on Easter Sunday. Not all Christian denominations will practice Lent. The young son of a preacher was asked by his teacher what the family was giving up for Lent. We laughed at his honesty when he replied, “We are Baptist and we don’t give up nothing for nothing.” But we will all unite together on Easter Sunday to celebrate the empty tomb and give praise and worship to the risen Jesus who sacrificed himself on our behalf. Spring will have arrived. 

Early Easter morning we will sing “Up from the grave he arose” while rejoicing that the cold and darkness of a spiritual winter has been overshadowed by the love of the Father through his son. A gospel songwriter has described his view of heaven in his lyrics, “It is always springtime in glory where the flowers are blooming rich and rare.” Indeed, there are harbingers of that eternal spring for those who have faith in him. 

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