Madonna House

Birdsong, Lambs, and Dafodils

by Cheryl Ann Smith

As I approach my fifth spring in England, I can barely contain my joy. In my native Canada, when spring finally comes, it seems over-zealous in throwing off the cloak of snow and shackles of ice. Some years, though it isn’t literally true, we seem to move from winter to summer overnight. We have such a short time to enjoy the season.

But here in Yorkshire, England, beginning in February, spring unfurls its beauty with week upon week of joy and new life.

I wonder if the natives of this corner of the earth truly appreciate this season. Or do they, like so many people everywhere, take the beauty that surrounds them for granted?

Are they too familiar with the wonder of stalwart snowdrops bravely poking up through the earth to bring the first new growth? Or with the wildly-dressed crocuses strewn along the verges, waving and welcoming all of us into the towns and villages?

Or with the legendary daffodils which succeed them: not just yellow, but of every hue and combination of yellow, gold, white and orange, of every size, shape and texture?

And the birds! I had heard that there is nothing quite like birdsong in England, and I have to agree. The operatic wrens, cheeky robins, raucous jackdaws, gentle cooing doves seem to awaken spring as they break through the winter silence with the ever growing, melodious chorus that surpasses anything ever composed on earth.

I hope they never stop delighting in the wriggling, gambolling, bleating lambs who gradually fill the fields and moors with the sheer delight of living.

Or in the fields of brilliant yellow rape seed which catch our breath, especially when highlighted against the shimmering blue sea.

Before spring passes on the baton to summer, I have three questions for you to ponder wherever you live—for God has created ever-changing beauty in every corner of the earth.

#1: Do you listen and watch and thrill to this glorious season?

#2: Do you ever ask yourself where all this glory came from?

There is no way that human beings and random atoms could begin to duplicate, let alone create, such beauty.

#3: Finally, why such profusion and infinite creativity? My answer is Love. When the lover loves, he or she does not just express that passion in the three words, “I love you,” but in myriad words, gestures and looks, in tender caress and physical union, in forgiveness, sacrifice, fidelity, in gifts of all kinds and the sharing of hearts.

Our beautiful God, who created us, never ceases to shower us with gifts, to sing his love for us, to help, sustain, bring joy to us, to love us with all the passion we can possibly absorb.

So let us respond with a resounding yes to such life and love and beauty. Let us receive this profusion of God’s love.