When someone asks about my favorite season of the year, I usually choose spring. I love this season of the year and especially enjoy the greening of the trees.
This year the greening of our communities coincides with the church’s seven week season of Easter, a symbol in time of the fullness and abundance of God’s grace. During these days of Easter, many of our scripture readings mirror our experience of the holy. Our awareness of the divine ebbs and flows, even as Jesus comes and goes. Now we see him, now we don’t. The disciples slowly learn to trust the presence of their Lord with them, even when they can’t perceive him. Gradually, cautiously, they discover that the crucified One has been raised. They learn not to give up, to embrace “a return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess of us, the hurt, the empty.”
Those words come from a poem by Ada Limón called Instructions on Not Giving Up. To hear the author read her poem, click here.
Instructions on Not Giving Up
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
What is your favorite season of the year, and why? What helps you not give up?
-Written by Rev. Ann Palmerton