Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cultivating Faith

Photos taken at home-- today.

Lent is here. For us, Ash Wednesday arrives in the heart of winter, when Midwestern skies hide the sun for weeks at a time.

Each winter, I'm convinced that every single perennial, shrub, and tree in my yard will surely die. How can any living thing re-emerge from this brutal, unrelenting exposure? All of that fertilizing, pruning, and mulching--well, it just won't be enough to sustain our beloved flora. Yes, the plants made it though last year's snow, wind, and ice, but the current winter always seems more menacing than that of the previous year.

I mentally bid a sad farewell to the tree-form hydrangeas, black-eyed susans, lilacs, gardenias, and star gazers. Surely this will be the year that my cherished "knockout" rose bushes succumb.

Of course, my imagined botanical calamity never comes to pass.

In a few, short months all of these beautiful, hand chosen plants will bloom in full glory. And every Spring, I stand in awe of this miraculous renewal. All that was bleak becomes glorious--and stronger, weightier. More resilient to face the inevitable winters to come.

Not at all unlike our own potential for renewal.

Blessings to all of you as we refresh mind, body, and soul this Lenten season.