It is spring.  A time of year when life bursts forth – birds return, crocuses pop out of the earth, buds appear on trees.  As I’ve gone on my daily strolls through my neighbourhood, all this is apparent.  What I’m particularly noticing, as an urban dweller, is the clarity of the birdsongs.  I suppose the absence of traffic noise has made this just a little clearer this year.  This is a good thing.

This very familiar song carries within it so many images that remind me of spring.  The joy found in its freshness, the song emerging from its light.  It was originally written by Eleanor Farjeon for a 1931 Scottish songbook, because they wanted to include a hymn to give thanks each day.  As familiar as it is, I had never considered the value of singing these words every morning.

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dew fall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight
Mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

There is much to value in spring.  Symbolically a time of renewal, a time to start over, a time to emerge from a long winter, a time to begin again.  It doesn’t really feel like we’re in that place right now.  Most of us are just trying to come up with ways to cope until this pandemic state ends. Ways to pick up the pieces when it’s over.  Ways to manage our stress and shortages in the meantime. It is hard to consider renewal when one is simply trying to survive.

And yet, spring comes anyway.  All these tiny bits of new life will fill our days with increasing frequency over the next few weeks.  We will wake each morning to more birds, more flowers, more green leaves.  We will shed our coats and open our windows.  We will breathe in fresh air and listen to the birds singing.  We may plant seeds or dig up weeds, or just enjoy watching the green increase from our windows – whether nearby or in the distance.  Spring shines her beauty on us, through the tiniest dandelion poking through a crack in the concrete, or the magnificence of a blossoming tree

Look for spring.  It is ours to enjoy; ours to accept as a balm for what troubles us.  The sunlight, the morning, the birdsongs, the rain and the grass.  Praise for the singing.  Praise for the morning. Praise for them springing fresh from the world.