Ann Bailey: Spring is a time of physical and spiritual renewal
Spring on the farm typically is a muddy mess. As I do my outdoor chores, I quickly discover where the holes are in my rubber boots as I step into water ponds with muddy bottoms. Inside, dirty sock and dog footprints track where the dogs and I hav...
Spring on the farm typically is a muddy mess.
As I do my outdoor chores, I quickly discover where the holes are in my rubber boots as I step into water ponds with muddy bottoms. Inside, dirty sock and dog footprints track where the dogs and I have been, and our entryway is a jumble of filthy winter boots and grimy shoes.
Our horses are grubby, too. Brushing them is futile because they roll in the mud as soon as we are finished. The same is true for our two Golden Retrievers whose feathery legs, bellies and tails are muck magnets.
Our vehicles don't fare any better than the humans and animals because we have to drive on gravel roads to get to the highway. I wash the windows on my car when I fill it up at the gas station, but I've given up doing any more than that because it never fails to rain as soon as the car is clean.
Yet, I love the season. I still get excited when I see the grass turn green, tulips popping out of the ground and buds bursting open on the trees. Best of all, I enjoy seeing swans and geese flying overhead and new animal life on the ground.
These days, I don't daily watch calves frisking in the corral like I did growing up on the farm, but thanks to my job as a reporter, I do usually get to witness young bovine romping around when I do stories on livestock producers, and sometimes, I also see lambs skipping and foals running, leaping and bucking.
The new life, whether plant or animal, more than makes up for the mud. It not only warms my heart to see it, but also is medicine for my soul, more proof that God in his goodness never fails to renew the Earth.
Spring, for me, is not only a time when life is physically renewed, but also spiritually. Easter is my favorite holiday. We will celebrate the day with family, hosting dinner for about 25 of our relatives, and there will be an Easter egg hunt for the children in the group.
While I look forward to spending time with family and eating a variety of delicious dishes, it is the religious part of the holiday that means the most to me. Worshipping the risen Lord at Mass on Easter Sunday is a joyful experience like no other. It overwhelms me that Jesus, who is God, rose from the dead, after being crucified to save us from sin.
The hope, sacrifice and love that Easter represents renews me spiritually and I work not only on the holiday, but throughout the year to use it as inspiration to avoid the sin that too often muddies my soul. The outward signs of spring may revitalize my body, but it is the tenderness that Jesus showed us more than 2,000 years ago by dying on the cross for us, and has shown every moment of every day since, that reawakens my soul. Wishes for a jubilant and blessed Easter to all.