Spring equinox; grief at Easter

(A post for those interested in Christian perspectives)

It’s been a long cold winter in the UK. The frozen snow in our back garden just about melted in time for the Spring equinox, although the pond was still covered with a thin layer of ice the other morning and there are frozen heaps of snow on the edges of some of the country lanes. Did I say ‘spring’? It can’t come soon enough. I walked through the city yesterday in a bitterly cold wind. Enough now, I’m thinking, it’s time for sunshine.

Despite everything, the garden is okay. We have a wood pigeon nesting in our conifer and loads of birds, and clumps of crocus and primroses starting to brighten up the scene. Things will surely turn a corner soon.

Whatever the weather chooses, Easter is fast approaching. (Potentially a white Easter, according to some pessimistic predictions, but surely not!?)

Easter, a time to look forward. A time to reflect. A time of hope, as what is Easter but the promise of resurrection. For those living with loss, this brings with it the promise that we will see our loved ones again.

This hope doesn’t mean that our daily lives are suddenly and miraculously transformed beyond recognition. We still endure gaps as we go through each day; we still have moments of deep sadness as we miss our loved ones, as I wrote about in my previous post.

It’s a bit of a mixture, isn’t it, rather like the season. And in reflecting on that, here’s a poem. It might seem dark, but keep reading to the end. And that’s also a message for everyone who is grieving; however dark it seems at the moment, keep going, you haven’t reached the end yet.

The hope of the resurrection

The soil is brown and dark
Rain mixed with clay
Heavy mud.

The soil is saturated now.
It absorbs no more
Puddles form on sludge.

The sky is dark with clouds
Blocking the sun
Shadows dim the scene

The air is chill now
A cold breeze stirs the surface
Of a puddle on the ground

Leaves shrivel in the cold
Veins of green turn brown
Falling discarded to the ground

On this dark cold day
It seems too quiet
Nature sleeps.

The dim silence
The grey puddles
The muddy ground
The loss, the death.

Is this all there is?
Will it change?
Is there any reason to hope?

In the stillness
A bud peeks up through the mud.
A tiny green bud.

It has lain sleeping
In the dark, damp ground.
Under the puddles,
Midst the soil
Under the leaves
Down below

It sent out roots.
Fine roots, twisting and turning
Down, down they reached
Silently seeking nourishment.

Up, up the bud reached up.
Looking for the light.
Establishing its presence

Life breaks through
The saturated ground gives way
Rotting leaves are pushed aside

Up pushes the bud
Confident now
Come snow or rain
Give it time
It will flower again

Upwards, defying gravity.
Upwards, ignoring death.
Upwards, to its destiny
It forms a flower head.

And then the golden trumpet
Bursts forth in glorious flame
It waves itself in joy and grace

Thus the Easter promise blooms –
No matter the darkness of this day
It is promised, they will live again.

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More on Easter

 

 

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