Yesterday I went walking in one of my favorite spots, Deerfield Park just west of town. I knew that the forecast was for flurries—a big change from the summer-like weather a few days ago--but decided to go anyway. It ended up snowing on and off during the whole walk, but I was with one of my favorite people—my youngest child, now 24 years old--and I didn’t mind.
I’ve lived in Michigan for four winters now, and I’m gradually getting used to the lateness of the spring. It is a month now since the spring equinox, and only now the trees are starting their leaf-out. The budding leaves are a bright green that you don’t find in the summer. The forest floor is bright green with moss and plants; the vernal pools in the forest are vibrant; the river is high and clear and flowing swiftly.
Last week I visited Ohio and the spring there, a hundred miles south, was advanced that much farther. I happened to be there on one of the warm days last week, and the blooming daffodils wafted their scent to me, bathing me with warm air.
The pagan calendar has eight seasonal divisions instead of four, and the season is turning now from Ostara (early spring) toward Beltane (late spring). May Day is the Beltane holiday. Tomorrow is the new moon, and is also the day that I complete 55 years of my life’s journey. There are many ways to count and mark the passing of time: the phases of the moon; the years on my driver’s license; the seasons of the year; the calendar on the wall. I find myself more and more attuned to the plants in my yard, the trees in the park, and to the evolution of my relationship with my children. Time passes outside of me in mysterious ways that I glimpse in the moss and the flowers and the budding trees; time passes within me in ways that are harder to name and more mysterious.
May we all be blessed, whether the weather be 78 degrees and sunny, or 38 and snowing.
May we take each day with the gifts and challenges it offers; may we embrace love with our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers whenever possible; may we delight in the beauty of Mother Earth and our connection with her.
May springtime bring us peace within ourselves, peace between us, and peace among the nations of the world.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
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Rev. Andrew Frantz
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