Columnist - Robert Walters
The eternal promise of spring, the first daffodil, the tiny buds forming on the elm tree; a faint but distinct musical note from the mockingbird, serves to remind us of the cycle of life. The passing of one season into the next reminds one of the continuity and the never changing change in God’s plan.
It reminds us that the dark days of winter are but a season in life; that the promise of spring is a reminder of eternity; that no one ever really grows old, we just skip from season-to-season on a journey that will inevitably lead to another season, in another place, where the seasons have become an eternal spring, and an eternal promise fulfilled.
With the first sign of spring we begin to search for the signs of new life. We see the rebirth of the creatures and the re-creation of the created. The poet has said it well, “to see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven on a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.” The darkest days always turn to light, the chill of winter fades away and the life giving quality of our sun returns to rejoice with us.
Sometimes we can hear spring before we can see it approaching; the late night call of the wild geese as they sing their way north, the cooing of the mourning dove seeking the company of a soon coming courtship. The cardinal visits the feeder less frequently and becomes more interested in the less colorful female, than in the sunflower seed provided.
In the spring time more than any other time, it becomes impossible for me to understand the people who never seem to notice the miracles all around us. The idea that these miracles could have occurred without a master plan, and can keep occurring eternally and right on time without a guiding hand is amazing.
Each spring is a blessing, the fulfillment of a promise, and the renewal of another one. Each of us are given a very limited number to enjoy before our inevitable invitation into that eternal spring that awaits us all. To allow just one to pass without notice or appreciation is like throwing away a treasured part of the meaning of life.
For spring is part of the meaning of life. When winter approaches the chilly winds turn the leaves to crimson, or brown, they hang on tenaciously but eventually fall to earth, from there to return from whence they came; the tree gently sleeps awaiting the eternal promise of regeneration and newness of life.
The passing of too many springtimes chill bones of the man. He too hangs on for a time. He wraps himself in another blanket to hide from the chill. But eventually he too must give up the struggle and return to the Mother Earth from whence he came. Like the tree, the old man sleeps, patiently awaiting the promise of another spring, in another place and in another time.
Enjoy the spring; watch the building of the nests and the mating of the birds, listen to the songs of life, the joy of love but prepare for the chill of the coming winter.
(Mr. Robert Walters died on Saturday, August 13, 2005. He was a native of Mississippi and a resident of Archibald, Louisiana. Mr. Walters wrote this column over 12 years ago and it is a wonderful reminder of the cycle of life and death. We thought it would be fitting to reprint it at this time.)