Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Life Returns

I have a number of houseplants, probably too many. Each has a history, mostly gifts, some rescues from my mother who habitually kills every plant that comes near her. I bought for myself only two of them to put in an office. One of those was a small ficus tree. I nearly killed it in the office and ended up bringing it home to rejuvenate it. It is now over six feet tall, with large spreading branches.

Most of the year, these plants sit on the east facing patio, soaking in morning sun and providing a gentle green atmosphere for the space. In the cold weather, of course, they have to come in the house. As I said, I probably have too many of them. They overwhelm the rooms of the parsonage. Especially that large, spreading ficus tree which spent the winter brooding over the dining room table.

During the winter months, I hardly water them at all. Too dry is better than too wet, and this year, I took “too dry” to an extreme. Especially for that large, spreading ficus tree. Since I brought it inside in mid-November, I doubt that gave it more than a gallon and a half of water the entire time.

Now, spring is here. It is unlikely that we’ll see another frost. Time to take the plants out. That large, spreading ficus tree is in a good-sized pot now, and I was a little concerned about moving it myself. However, it was extremely light. A winter of little water meant some dried out roots and lowered weight. The plant had been shedding leaves alarmingly for weeks now and dropped several dozen more on the way out the door. The first task at that point was to offer a good long soaking.

That plant really should be dead. Yet, 24 hours after that good soaking, I can see the life coming back into it—it almost seems to be standing straighter. So it is with lawns and trees and shrubs all over the area. As the longer days and spring warmth arrive, those buds and green shoots begin to form. I know it happens every year. Yet, to me, it is a yearly miracle. That which seemed dead, or so close to dying as to look dead, is coming back to life again.

Each year at this time, I feel myself emerging from the winter cocoon as I enjoy the yearly miracle of spring. This yearly renewal of life comes at the time we celebrate Easter, the mark of absolute renewal of life. Easter, when all darkness is swallowed in light, when we know without a doubt that God wins, when death loses its sting and is swallowed up in victory, when perfect good triumphs over anything that would try to destroy it. Easter, when in complete love, God offers to all without preference the joy of entrance in the heavenly places. May each of you experience that new life. Not one person is turned away from this place of love.

1 comment:

Angie H. said...

The comment that plant really should be dead describes me in a nut shell. For all intents and purposes I should be dead since I thought about killing myself at least twice really seriously. But something always kept me from doing it. Of course it was not a good soaking of just plain water that saved me. It was in your words the complete love God offers to all that saved me.
And life returned to me abudantly in its giving to me. Thanks for reminding all of us that the miracle of Easter is offered to all every day without preference.