Published April 29, 2022
By Lib Campbell
Veriditas…Oh dear, Maple. Spring has been chilly. All the afternoons I have sat and watched and prayed for your greening have felt like an exercise in futility. I thought about losing you, Calling the tree cutters to take you down. Disfigure you in small cuts. But you are too grand for that. I prayed for you, as I prayed for all on my long list. I do not want to lose you. I do not want to lose anything of beauty. I do not want to lose goodness. I do not want to lose anything that is good, for that would be losing what God loves.
Slow greening…. I watch the stories of the day, Ukraine and the strength of a greening people there, a people who hope, who see the possibilities of their lives, who want to live in a freedom that acknowledges their personhood and their gifts. Russia… and the fear of a small dictator whose mother likely did not teach him well or did not love him enough. Brutality belongs to the Middle Ages, the Barbarians at the door. Yet, when spring comes to Ukraine and even to Russia, how can they help but hope for something good, a new day, beauty to behold? Too many deaths in an unprovoked war; too many people who will not see spring. They are with God. But Oh God, if the maple in my back yard is greening, are you not at work in this human tragedy? Strengthening, softening? Healing, helping? Guiding, opening ears and hearts? I believe you are crying for the suffering and working for a peace to come.
Dear Hildegard, you have spoken well into my soul. “I am the breeze that nurtures all things green, I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits. I am the rain coming with dew that causes the grasses (and the maple tree in my back yard,) to laugh with the joy of life.”
Tonight, in the setting sun, I see nodes, and budding green awakening in the coming warmth. It is as if Alleluia is the language of Spring. I sang it on Easter Sunday and I see it in my back yard. The greening is coming, on the way, beginning in my yard. Alleluia! Come Lord. Tend the garden of my soul. Spread holy manure over all the world that we may green into a spring of healing and hope that all is well. Amen.
Lib Campbell is a retired Methodist pastor, writer and retreat leader. She hosts the website avirtualchurch.com.