We’ve been buried under yet another spring snowfall in as many weeks. Especially last week when our friends in the southern states were sending me pictures of their flower beds and cherry trees in full bloom, I had to admit I was more than a little depressed looking at the icy stalactites dangling off our eavestroughs and my dog getting lost in snow drifts. If I seem a little bitter, well, it’s because I am. We’ve had a couple of snow-eating Chinooks but for the most part we’ve been buried under the white stuff. It prompted me this morning to write a poem:
A friend of mine from Texas, asked how I was doing the other day and when I told her my weather woes she said, “How can your tulips bloom in the snow?” I didn’t want to tell her that I haven’t seen a tulip peek its head up in my garden in many years. In fact, with our short growing season here in southern Alberta, I have contemplated foregoing the usual trip to the “Anything Grows” garden shop for annuals, to go to Wal-Mart and invest in the silk ones and plant them instead. I’ve done it before…yes, it’s true.
My friend continued to encourage me…and I finally responded with, “You have to bloom where you are planted…even in the snow.” Yes, I said it, but I didn’t really mean it. I mean, I’m a west coast girl at heart. I grew up in Victoria, on Vancouver Island and counted, along with everyone else, all the daffodils that seemed to grow like weeds from February on. The “flower count” the islanders call it, I call it “rubbing it in all the Albertans’ faces that they still have snow on the ground while Victoria is flower counting.” How unfair!
I have another friend from the southern states who has happily “transplanted” herself here in Alberta. She absolutely, unequivocably LOVES snow! Having never grown up with snow, now she can’t seem to get enough of it. While I lament it, she praises it! To me it’s white mush…to her it’s life-sustaining. She keeps telling me that a late season snowfall is God’s gift to us in Alberta. It is that prayed-for moisture that is essential to farming here. Without it, Alberta would face drought conditions, wild grass fires would burn out of control, not to mention our forests would be tinder dry too. She sees the necessity as well as the beauty of snow.
I’m still not convinced.
I cry out to the Father. “I do so want to bloom and not wilt, Lord! I’m really trying (forcing myself) to have a more positive attitude about this weather, but seriously? Last week there was a three-foot snow drift in my driveway and another friend just Facebooked me telling me she’s going for her morning walk there in Carolina in 80 degree weather! It’s so hard not to be envious.”
My morning devotion challenges me: “The saying “bloom where you are planted” has the sense that we are to let God use us and seek to be fruitful wherever we are. Sometimes we may find ourselves providentially planted where we would rather not be. A true test of character is whether we wilt or bloom in these places.”
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty; but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn-bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.” Isaiah 55: 10-13
I think I just saw a tulip peek up through the snow.