Springtime in Atlantic Canada is nothing to get too excited about at first glance: it is cold, wet, muddy, and slushy. Looking outside at the frozen ground and patches of snow, it may seem like warmer weather will never arrive. Yet, there is a promise to springtime that one day the dreary days will end and life will again return.
I planted my early-start seeds a week and a half ago in anticipation that someday the weather will improve and I will see this promise fulfilled. Already they are springing up: fresh, bright, new. They seem so fragile, like I dare not breath around them or it will crush their tender life, but they are sturdier than they seem.
The plants outside, likewise, will soon begin to show their faces; the stirring of new life already beginning out of sight below the earth. They will push up past rocks and tough clods of dirt to reach their faces towards the sun. They simply do what they were born to do, and thrive. They fight obstacles such as disease, pests and cold, dark days. Yet they win. They win by living each new day. They shine out their beauty, and they bear fruit in spite of their hard journey. In fact, if they never had to face their difficult times, they would never grow stronger and bear fruit.
As I was planting my little promises in the soil, I was thinking that we can’t always dwell in our current situation. If I was simply to judge things by the weather outside at the moment, I wouldn’t have hope that these plants would survive. Likewise, if I worried over what the future might bring, I might not plant these seeds either. The summer could be too wet, or it could be too hot and dry and these plants might not survive either extreme. But instead, I choose to have hope.
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore!
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
An Essay On Man: Epistle 1 – by Alexander Pope
When it seems like things will never improve, remember these fragile little seedlings. Try telling the plants that summer will never arrive, that there is no hope, no point in trying – they will just keep trying anyway. One day the sun will shine again and they will feel the warmth on their faces as they stretch towards the light. One day they will produce the fruit they were meant to bear. Always have hope!