Blooming Tulips

This is my favorite season of the year.  I love watching each of the flowers bloom in their turn – the daffodils and crocuses peeking up first.  Then the green starting to fill in the trees – the white of the pear, the pink of the cherry.  Forsythia turning yellow right around Eastertime.  But my favorite spring flower has always been the tulip.  Probably, this is because my mother planted what I remember as a hundred tulips in front of our house when I was a child.  I was always delighted by their beautiful colors and delicate petals.

Last fall, we had a difficult time with lots of uncertainties, but let’s face it, when is not life full of difficult uncertainties?!  I had just purchased a bunch of new tulips and didn’t really feel like planting them all – my heart just wasn’t in it.  After letting them sit on the workbench for a few days and looking at them every time I walked through the garage, I decided to go ahead and plant them.  It was a windy, cool fall day and I was on my knees with nearly a winter coat on digging holes in the dirt.  I got them all planted, walked away and forgot all about them.

Over the winter, they were tucked beneath their layer of mulch.  With only moisture from snow to feed them, I imagine them digging deep to reach moist soil – extending their roots and spreading out into the ground.  All winter, they grew and dug in without anyone knowing.

Then as the weather began to warm and the spring rains came, little bits of green began to poke above the ground.  I was delighted, as is anyone ready for the thaw after the freeze, and watched them closely.  Our tulips are very susceptible to rabbits.  One year I found the tulips actually just chopped down – not eaten, but just cut from the stem by little bunny teeth.  I was so frustrated that I wanted to hunt those little bunnies down and throw them out of the yard!  So I was anxious that they would actually make it to blooming this spring.tulips2

But make it they did and now I have beautiful tulips in all of my flower beds – purples, pinks, yellows and whites.  And their beauty made me begin thinking about my own spiritual life.

In times of difficulty, in my own personal winter, when I am not receiving much moisture and rain (or hope and peace), I have to dig down.  Unbeknownst to anyone else, I have to draw closer to the eternal Source of healing water.  I have to spread out my roots and hold firmly on to Him.  Even unseen, I can grow spiritually during my winter under the snow.  And then when the springtime comes, when the weather begins to warm and rains shower down that hope and peace, I can begin to bloom, but only because my roots already are firmly held on to Him.  And in those occasions that my blooms are cut down by the trials and tribulations of this life, my bulb still remains under the surface of the soil, ready to grow again in the future with faith and love.

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