It has been a long and wet winter, and because the rain we’ve had in the last six months has brought the worst drought in living memory to a close, I feel somewhat guilty when I say that I am so happy to see the sun and to smell the flowers and hear the birds sing.
Leaves are starting to eek their way out of the branches on fruit trees in my back yard. Daffodils are dancing along the side of the road. The air is filled with sweet fragrance and with the songs of birds I cannot identify, but that I love nonetheless. On Monday I even planted some early girl tomatoes (premature, perhaps, but the day was so beautiful, it was hard to control myself).
On Tuesday before coming into work I went for a bike ride through Piedmont. It was a perfect morning. The sun was warm but not hot. The views of San Francisco were stunning. The air was fresh and sweet. And as I rode, I reflected upon the fact that folks on the East Coast were bracing for some kind of awful storm, with lots of snow and temperatures down past “way too cold for March.”
Knowing that so many people in the United States were facing such awful weather made me glad to live in California, but it also was a reminder that my own experiences are never universal, and just because I’m happy and having a good day doesn’t mean someone else isn’t struggling.
During the season of Lent it is important for us to practice the art of remembering that not everyone shares the same springtime of life. Not everyone is happy at the same time, not everyone feels beautiful, strong, and empowered at the same time. Lots of people endure frigid seasons of cold and as they do they feel as if they must pretend their lives are filled with nothing but radiant sunshine.
My prayer for us, as we prepare for the celebration of Easter, is that we will be intentional about making space in our lives for those who don’t yet feel the blessed touch of Spring, that we will honor the sadness and struggles so many folks endure, and that we will do all of this without forgetting to be grateful and joyous if we happen to be living in the Springtime.