What a mess.
Standing in the middle of an unkempt lawn I turn slowly, surveying the carnage before me. The grass hasn’t been mown for nigh on six months. Shrubs pruned in the autumn are still bare – their spindly sticks most unattractive. There’s a gap in the fence where the winter storms rent their fury upon the decaying posts that had served well until now. The panels lie broken, twisted and sad.
But I am not downcast.
As I continue to turn I feel the warmth of the bright spring sun. The happy blue sky causes the sadness of winter to melt away. Dry old bulbs planted the year before have brought forth bright yellow daffodils, their heads bobbing gently in the breeze. Even the bare sticks are not as dead as they seem; scores of tiny buds are just waiting to burst forth with a display of new life.
The winter may have been cold, dreary and lifeless, but winter is not the end. As sure as night follows day, the sun will shine again. Life and warmth begin to make their presence felt. Almost imperceptibly at first. Those slow and faltering steps soon become a gallop; the advancing seasons will not be halted.
A strange sense of optimism has been growing. It’s as though I too have started to emerge from a winter of sorts. I find myself effortlessly believing that life has turned a corner. I have a new hope and a fresh vision. Much like the forlorn garden I am actually surrounded by life and opportunity.
And how about you; what season are you in?
If you have been weighed down, lacking hope and clarity, perhaps you need to hear the words of Gandalf to king Theoden of Rohan in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, “Your fingers would remember their old strength better if they grasped your sword.”
As the seasons move on, what “sword” should you take up again? What will focus your mind, cause strength to rise and ignite your spirit? Grasp it again. Allow yourself to become familiar with it. Then, holding it aloft, join the charge!
“Your fingers would remember their old strength better if they grasped your sword.” – Gandalf the White