Monday I savored a few hours working in the front yard. The sun was warm – almost hot, the air was clear, and I felt exhilarated to be out of the house eagerly anticipating spring. Winter has seemed long, cold and dark, and I was excited to enjoy a few hours of sunny warmth as a harbinger of brighter days to come. I particularly enjoy working around the lilies, because the contrast between winter and spring is so dramatic.
As I cleaned away the dead leaves and remains from last fall, the strong, bright green leaves of this season’s growth stood straight and tall, ready to brighten my front yard and my spirits.
Initially, I considered the dead leaves and stalks from last season useless, and just something to get out of the way and into the trash. But on further consideration, I’ve realized that even though their summer beauty is gone, the dead stalks have continued to nurture the plant by providing protection from the cold and snow of winter. They have carefully surrounded the new shoots until they are strong enough to stand alone. And even as I pulled them away and threw them into the wheelbarrow to be taken to the compost pile, I realized that they will continue to serve as fertilizer, rich soil nutrients to be added to flower and vegetable gardens in years to come.
What a clear analogy for my life! I’ve had some periods of cold and dark days this winter, and like everybody else, I will continue to experience ups and downs in daily life. I’ve learned that as I clear away the dead, brown, and seemingly useless stalks and leaves from previous struggles, they can go into my personal “compost pile” and continue to enrich my life through the lessons they have taught me.
As I anxiously await the arrival of spring and summer, I look forward to the bright yellow blooms that the lilies will produce. And I happily anticipate the opportunities ahead of me.
So why is it rain/snowing today?