Of all the voices the Almighty uses to speak to his children, I find the changing seasons to be one of the most subtle and holy.
There is warmth and light and joy in summer. It comes from the sky with blasts of Vitamin D when we mow the lawn, visit with friends, tend the barbecue. God is in the rays of sunshine, beaming from sky to earth, bringing the grass from the ground and wriggling worms with it.
When he lets the bruised storm clouds water our soybean fields and his lightning splits the sky, he seems to say, “Listen: This power you see is nothing compared to my love for you.”
There is a holy dying in the fall; a crucifixion in cold. As leaves drift from aching limbs and are swept to the ground by cinnamon gusts, my family’s old farmhouse settles into itself. God is in the wood as it creaks; relaxing, exhaling.
There is peace in winter. It is found beneath burial shrouds of snow, white as a lamb, covering the earth in silence.
This is when God allows the earth to sleep. It is a frozen Sabbath.
And there is hope in spring.
Spring is life – again, and again. It is waking up from a long rest and venturing out into the world wearing short sleeves. It is all windows, all the way down.
When the cool rain stops, when the sun sets, when the crickets wake up and crank out their transistor symphonies in the tall grass, I hear the Almighty whisper among them: “You are awake now. There is much to see, much to do.”
Of all the speaking seasons, I hear the most from heaven in spring.
Years ago, as I walked out the double doors of the public library, I was blasted in the face by a gust of fresh air carrying a cloud of pollen from a nearby dogwood tree. As I sneezed and hacked and rubbed my eyes, an itchy euphoria coursed through my veins in tandem with the histamines. They call that spring fever. There was much to see, much to do.
We celebrate the same thing on Easter. Every year on a Sunday in March or April, we observe a new Sabbath, a warmer one, remembering a springtime long ago when a young man named Jesus walked through a door and out into the world again.
When I picture Jesus leaving his tomb, I see dogwoods and magnolias standing on either side. Maybe, when the warm breeze tumbled by, he sneezed, too. I see Mary Magdalene, her face streaked with tears from tired eyes, looking up to see the Christ, newly awake in a garden greater than Gethsemane or Eden. I see them walk among the flowers and shrubs spreading from the mouth of the grave, and I think, maybe Jesus would have been happy to stay as a gardener if he hadn’t had so much to do.
Maybe, as Jesus made his way out of the garden and hit the dusty road to see his friends again, he felt the beginning of some spring fever, just like me.
Maybe, when he approached Emmaus in the evening, the crickets were waking up.
I can see him now, listening to the same words I hear, whispered softly in the tall grass by the side of the road: “You are awake now. There is much to see, much to do.”
David Wright is a reporter for The Times-Gazette. He can be reached at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.