Signs of Spring: Cherry Blossoms and Hope
Signs of Spring: Baseball and Cherry Blossoms
“Pitchers and catchers report” is a sure sign of spring–somewhere–as baseball spring training begins again each February in Florida and Arizona. Credit Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s timeless classic “Casey at the Bat” for the magical phrase “…hope which springs eternal in the human breast…” Even Cubs fans, maybe especially Cubs fans, begin every year believing that this will be the year. And maybe it will.
Closer to home, though, I look for other signs of spring. Crocuses, daffodils, blooming forsythia. The first hint of green bermuda blades under otherwise dormant turf. Azaleas ablaze with color. Tiny green leaves in the trees reminding us that the sleeping giants are rousing from their slumber.
For me, though, nothing says spring like cherry blossoms. My Yoshino cherry tree puts on such a show each spring that it begs a photo shoot. As a matter of fact, I have certainly more regularly taken shots of my tree than I have of my family. (Hey, every spring it’s always available, dressed, and standing still.)
The cherry tree is just beginning to blossom this year. I am amazed that it will go from completely dormant to covered with beautiful blooms in the space of about two weeks. Of all the signs of spring, the cherry tree is the most stunning sign of resurrection.
A Most Powerful Motivator
Perhaps the most powerful motivator in the world is hope. And spring shouts hope. Resurrection hope. Death coming to life. Just a few weeks ago, nothing. Now, life springing up everywhere.
Maybe you are at the end of your rope about something that’s going on in your life. Perhaps it’s something out of your control or something so overwhelming that you can’t imagine ever coming out of the hole you are in. But you are not beyond hope. Look all around you. The dead is coming to life…and not for the first time.
Spring is not an original story of hope. It is a recurring one from before the foundation of the earth, one that brings an annual reminder of the source of true hope. Almost 2,000 years ago, the Son of God–the Creator Himself–was crucified and buried in a borrowed tomb. Three days later, He rose from the grave and declared victory over death, hell, and the grave.
And every spring, nature practically screams that Jesus is alive. Don’t give up.
About Al Ainsworth
Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell. Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales), Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and Coach Dave: Season One. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.