Photo by Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash

Speaking Out: Seeking spring rejuvenation

By  Sarah Wentzell, Youth Speak News
  • May 27, 2020

Spring in northwestern Ontario arrived late this year, with new leaves not even open at the Victoria Day long weekend. Despite this, there are many signs that spring is persevering. I began a small garden plot in a tree-sheltered nook in our yard, and I’m planning to plant wildflowers and other floral specimens later.

As I dug up the leaf-scattered earth, it was apparent that spring was in the air. Butterflies fluttered around airily on multicoloured wings, a tiny red spider crossed the carpet of emerald moss and I uncovered a toad with eyes patterned with black and gold. The warm sun caressed the earth and birds’ melodies filled the air with a variety of sounds. I was reminded of many parallels between Catholicism and this season with all of these beauties of spring unfolding.

First, the water of spring has much significance in the Catholic faith. Water is one of the aspects I love about spring when I can watch moonlight reflected on shimmering rivers. Some people find rainy days depressing, but I glory in them. I have a strong affinity, too, for waterfalls. Being around them seems to help wash away worry and stress while also offering a unique opportunity to marvel at God’s creation.

One is reminded of the cleansing water of Baptism. It invigorates the soul, similar to rain washing our minds and bodies from the haze of dust that collects there. As spring rain makes the flowers grow, Baptism waters the soil of virtues so that they may later spring forth lush and strong. In another way, the waters of spring are reminiscent of the great flood during Noah’s time. Just as the flood was a new start for humanity, spring gives us a fresh slate and a new motivation to draw closer to God, as well as to change the way we live.

Another connection between spring and the faith is that spring is a time of hope, joy and new life. It is very appropriate that we celebrate Jesus’ triumph over death in the spring when the world is waking from winter slumber and coming to new life.

Spring is a time when the heart loves to sing and there is evidence of new growth. Buds form, green washes over the Earth like watercolour paint and animals give birth to new little ones. Spring has a very light-hearted, warm atmosphere that coincides well with the hope of eternal life that Jesus’ resurrection offers to all.

During a year that many are finding very difficult due to the continuing pandemic, the spring season offers a fresh, invigorating hope that we can overcome our struggles, just as the leaves overcome the frosty cold to unfurl. Let us allow the spring breezes to seep through our soul and give us the courage to persevere.

These verses from Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s poem “Spring Song” capture the allure and hope of this time of year very well:

“Hark, I hear a robin calling!

List, the wind is from the south!

And the orchard-bloom is falling

Sweet as kisses on the mouth. …

“Come and let us seek together

Springtime lore of daffodils,

Giving to the golden weather

Greeting on the sun-warm hills.”

(Wentzell, 16, is a Grade 11 student in Seton Home Study School in Thunder Bay, Ont.)

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