So, March 20 was the first day of spring in this, the year 2013.
Ergo, yesterday – March 24 – was the fifth day of spring. As in the season the follows winter.
But there must have been some confusion because last night – the fifth evening of spring – looked like this:
Note, if you please, the white-covered branches. I half expected a faun to the step out from among the trees into the light of the lamp-post, holding an umbrella in one arm and carrying several brown-paper parcels in the other.
Admittedly, it was quite magical for any number of reasons. The still silence. The storybook setting. The anticipation of curling up in a warm bed under a pile of toasty blankets.
Best of all, I did not have to sneak silently back to a distant wardrobe, trusting neither tree nor bird, but rather could joyfully re-light my Christmas tree that is still standing because, well, it’s made of books and so it still is. (I find it quite impossible to contemplate a home where it is not, but of course one must prepare oneself for the possibility.)
Thankfully I do not live in a land where it is always winter and never Christmas. Where there is no sight of spring. Where grace and hope and love are hidden away in small and secret places.
I live in a land where winter – even if it lasts for ever so long – is always filled with the joy of Christmas and always followed by the miracle of Easter. Where grace and hope and love are free for the taking.
That is: the sun always shines, no matter how dark the wintry clouds may be. And just when it is needed most, it pierces through the air and sky and soul to shatter our little world and save our desperate hearts.
The spell, you see, is broken. The patches of green are growing bigger. The patches of snow are growing smaller. The mist has turned from white to gold. And overhead, there is blue sky between the tree tops.
Rest assured: underneath the deep, deep snow, springtime and new life are bursting from the ground.
All is very, very well.
(Select descriptions of both winter and spring borrowed respectfully from Narnia.)