Journal entry. March 20th. First day of spring. Lower mainland, B.C.
Good day, diary. Good day, Lord. And good day, Spring. After our record-breaking cold Canadian winter, you’re more welcome than usual, even though you’re late to your own party. I travelled two provinces in order to catch your entry as you slipped into Canada’s west coast. Frankly, you surprised me.
Usually when I come to this part of B.C. in March you greet me with cherry blossoms, dandelions, and greening grass. Not so this year, although I did spot crocuses on a morning walk. And ducks paddling in a pond near my sister’s house. I forgive you for the missing buds and glorious displays of magnolias, daffs and snowdrops, though. After all, back in Saskatchewan, friends and family long to see even a smidge of green. They haven’t shed their boots for the last time. Or their winter coats or snow shovels. I can almost hear those shovels from two provinces over, scraping decks and driveways, dispensing leftover dirty snow piles with energetic tosses onto lawns and streets.
I’ll fly back home next week, Spring, but I’ll watch for you with a thousand eyes. In a few weeks, I’ll cheer when you finally reach my part of the prairie, greens ablazing.
You’ll gallop across our flat land, lifting winter-weary hearts, muddying up fields and gravel roads. You’ll fire up farmers itching to get on the land. You’ll frustrate parents and teachers of small children who insist on splashing in puddles and flooding their rubber boots. You’ll coax people off couches and into nurseries to salivate over bedding plants and saplings.
You’ll tempt employees to call in a sick day and lure homeowners onto ladders to clean windows and gutters. You’ll even prompt dog-owners like me to pick up the remainder of their pup’s now-exposed backyard piles. And my goodness, the birds! What an orchestra we hear at Hope House when you arrive. Geese performing their spring flypasts. Woodpeckers drumming on metal flashing. Songbirds tussling over birdhouses and singing the mornings in. Earlier every day.
But while I’m here in B.C., watching as you make your slower-than-usual entry, I’ll thank God for this time. For leftover vacation days. For my sister and brother-and-law and their welcoming home. For daily visits with Dad at his care facility. For reconnection with people I love. And for time to breathe deeply of life away from my prairie home.
Father God, the world is full of big and hard things. Needy of you. Confused, wounded and angry. But today I lay fear and worry aside. Today, on this first day of spring, I sing these words…
This is my Father’s world, and to my list’ning ears, all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world! Oh, let me not forget, that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet! ( Maltie D. Babcock.)”