We are having a week of wonderful Spring sunshine that has transformed our drab winter landscape and each day as I watch this continual transformation it lifts
my spirits and I rejoice in the creator God who never fails to bring this about. Each day, at the beginning of Spring there are new blooms to add to the delights of the season.
The bright yellow forsythia is now in its full glory and the lilac buds are now almost at bursting point. There are more yellow daffodils than we had last year and yesterday was the first day when the carpet of grape hyacinths suddenly painted the ground blue! In between these are the yellow primroses and multi-coloured primulas and many of the tulips have fat buds just waiting to come into flower.
Elsewhere, the wallflowers show just a tiny hint of the yellow and bronze colours to become beautiful blooms quite soon and the fresh, almost red new
leaves of the rose bushes spell out a message of hope and promise of wonderful roses to come later. Down the road and up in Caversham Heights, the cherry trees are in full blossom - always a glorious sight after the dark days of winter! It's too early for my apple blossom yet, but the buds are formed and the sunshine will encourage their growth.
On my kitchen window sill the tomato plants have germinated well and up in the (cold) greenhouse there are some very healthy early pea seedlings that are causing great delight because for the last two or three years we have not managed to grow any peas at all, and I DO like peas, especially straight from the pod! I lost my first sowing of broad beans this year because of the very severe frost catching them in the unheated greenhouse. Only one stalwart seedling survives! But a second sowing of broad beans has just begun to sprout and so have the French beans. Perhaps I'll raise next year's broad beans on my kitchen windowsill, because I proved last year that if you get them established in the ground as early as possible you can be clear of blackfly. I may have to deal with that this year, I'm afraid.
So when I set off yesterday for a routine visit to the podiatrist, my heart was full of joy and, without having to wear a big coat, I greeted everyone I met with, 'Isn't it a wonderful morning?' Usually, it made the other person's face light up and evoked a similar response, but in the outgoing bus, an older lady sat heavily down beside me and said with feeling, 'I wish I was in my grave.' 'Surely not', I replied and after a little while in similar vein, I tentatively asked if I dare ask how old she was. As if it were a great burden, she groaned, '80'. I'm sorry, but I couldn't help it! I replied that she was only a baby, because I am in my 88th year and I'm enjoying life. The other passengers were enjoying this but, of course I don't know (and she wasn't inclined to tell me) what illnesses or troubles she might be burdened with. I only wanted her to be able to share my joy at God's wonderful sunshine and all His creation.
On my way back home on the bus, a frail elderly man - no, I didn't ask HIS age! - got on at the Library and came to sit next to me. For the final time, I said my piece, 'Isn't it a wonderful morning?', and his reply was, 'Huh! Spring's come much too early!' It was then time for me to get off the bus and I had no chance to cheer him up. So, today, on yet another such wonderful morning, I feel I must offer a prayer for all those who, for one reason or another, illness or depression or the effects of old age, are unable to rejoice in this wonderful gift of Spring sunshine with all the wealth of beauty that it brings. Thank you, Creator God and Father.