Spring is the time of plans and projects. —Leo Tolstoy

By Cathi Douglas, Interim Editor, OC Catholic     4/21/2016

Spring in Southern California is subtle, but we can sense it in the greening of front lawns and the budding of leaves in parkways. There’s a freshness in the air, an anticipation of sunny skies and warmer temperatures.

Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday is a forceful reminder that spring is the season of renewal, rebirth and recommitment to our faith, our families and our spiritual future. As described in a recent OCC feature, “Roots of Religion” published Feb. 27, even our gardens can transport and transform us – if we open ourselves up to enjoy them. Getting our hands dirty toiling in own backyards, or working in the soil of our potted plants or community gardens, we experience firsthand the cyclical nature of our lives through the growth of seeds, flowers and fruit trees.

Just as Jesus inspired hope by walking out of the rocky tomb, so can spring fill us with renewed strength to continue our journeys in faith. Gardening aficionados know that it takes conscious effort to cultivate a garden and likewise it requires patient commitment to nurture our faith.

For many, the faith journey doesn’t move along an incline or even a straight pathway – it takes a few detours into blind alleys, through dark tunnels and around hairpin turns. Navigating the journey without a roadmap or a GPS we often stumble. And perhaps that is the point, after all; faith in what we cannot see or touch requires belief in that which is beyond knowing. It requires us to praise Him for His blessings and listening to His voice in the silence of our hearts.

Experiencing the sprouting of little green seedlings into life visibly reminds us each spring of His covenant to keep us in the palm of His hand; it confirms that He loves us more deeply than the birds of the sky.

In the springtime spirit, Scripture can inspire our appreciation of God’s natural wonders as in the Song of Solomon 2:11-12:

See! The winter is past;

   the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;

   the season of singing has come,

the cooing of doves

   is heard in our land.