Soft green bundles hang outside our upstairs window with stringy tufts dripping below. Our grand tree in our backyard is coming back to life. It has been a long winter. Its bare branches have survived the winter winds and freezing temps. The tree’s trunk has survived with the melted snow, even if it took weeks to seep into the frozen ground.
It has not yet reached its full maturity of summer leaves that will sway with the summer winds and give shade to the summer play of young ones below.
These soft green bundles speak the promise of its coming. They whisper to me that even if not fully formed, there is already promise of summer. There is already resurrection.
It has been a long winter. The winter winds of change have blown and changed the summer landscape. By the time the tree is at its peak, my close friend and co-worker will pack up her family to begin a new life hours away. Our youngest will continue his yearning to be a big boy as he seeks to ditch baby things like high chairs and bibs and instead jump into the life his brother leads. Drew will begin his last year of residency and life seems on high-speed barreling towards the future.
Winter into summer
Lent into Easter
Past into future
It leaves me a bit disoriented and unsure as the present gets lost in the middle of it all. I yearn for the easy bridge to move from one to the other but it feels like it is my own new territory to blaze. Sometimes there is no bridge left by another who has gone before. Sometimes there is simply the wave we must ride to the shore yet unknown.
I am not alone in the in between. The disciples are still stuck in the locked room. News of the resurrection did not send them bounding out into the streets. Into the locked room, the Resurrected One walks with the words, not suggestion but command, “Peace be with you.” Startled, terrified, and yet relieved, they are invited to see, touch, and know that there is already resurrection.
“Beloved, we are God’s children now. What we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” (1 John 3)
Even when not fully realized, even when the future has not unfolded in clear graspable ways, the soft green bundles hang as promise that enough hope and promise exists today to trust that it will come into fruition and blossom soon enough.
Even today in the in-between time, already resurrection.
“I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.
So why not get started immediately.
I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.
And to write music or poems about.
Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
You could live a hundred years, it’s happened
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.”
– The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac, Mary Oliver