I have mixed feelings as April ends. It happens every year when the daffs in the garden finally finish their cheery display; there is usually a bit of a break between their passing and the next influx of colour.
This year I have marked it by photographing the “Last Trumpet of Spring.” The trumpet is still big, brassy and bold but the other petals are fading fast. Yet the warm spring sunshine glows through it- at first glance it is still gorgeous. But change is coming and the daffodils are departing.
How gracefully do we handle change? New seasons of life can be exciting or overwhelming: perhaps both.
My garden depends on me as gardener. Have I thought ahead? What have I planted, or pruned, or prepared? If the daff could think, it might be pretty alarmed. Hopefully the local bees have danced their tango “passing the pollen” and the bulb below is content. Purpose completed, the next generation of gorgeous daffodils is assured. But the Last Trumpet looks lonely.
Actually, I have been doing my bit. Since last summer, I have bedded in some roses, some shrubs, and filled trays with annual seeds. I also took pains to weed out the opportunists and thugs wanting to take over.
As a result, I am fairly confident (but never presumptious!) that beauty will be emerging over the next month or so. There is plenty that could go wrong… however the roses look healthy, the alliums bulbous, the lavender reliable, and enough other things wait in the wings. From my perspective, the future looks, well, – rosy.
Quite often we like to cling on to what we have, the things that have succeeded before, and the familiar patterns that we know (and trust). It takes faith to open our hands and let things go: to take a new opportunity. All gardeners have favourites- roses for me- but also love to try new and “exotic” specimens. (My mother came home from Kew Gardens with cuttings the groundsman had given her, one enthusiast to another. Note to self: must try this at Wisley or Kew…)
Is it so hard to believe that our Eternal Father has planned new things, new seasons, new fruitfulness? Jesus said “I am the Vine, you are the branches” and warned that pruning would be essential. (see John 15). Isaiah, hundreds of years before boldly proclaimed God’s message: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland…” (Isaiah 43 v19)
Change will come to us. If we run away, it will chase us. If we hide, it will find us. If we look for God’s signature on it, it will transform us. God is a specialist in re-creating, renewing, and rescuing: why hang grimly on for the “Last Trumpet” when we should embrace life, Love, and our neighbours? I don’t want to be a “sad trumpet” when God’s future plan comes up roses!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!