Sunday, March 27, 2011

You must believe in Spring


Springtime reveals, even to our eyes dulled by routine and manmade ugliness, a hint of the creative aspect of God. Each miniature leaf unwrapping itself to defy the chill of winter's dregs, the frilled daffodils, cadmium forsythia fountains, cherry trees wrapped in their pink clouds -- individually and collectively, they rouse us, however briefly, from obsession with our troubles and the world's. "Sleepers, awake" is the title of one Bach cantata, and it could be an anthem for the season.

In our human circumstances, all that offends rightness and decency, the shocks of tragedy and the weight of despair, can make life seem a blighted passage filled with sorrow. No logical argument can fully convince us otherwise. Spring does not argue or contradict: it is, a demonstration, conceding nothing to our philosophies or cynicism, telling its own story as though nothing else is real.

Beneath the deepest snows,
The secret of a rose
Is merely that it knows
You must believe in Spring!

Just as a tree is sure
Its leaves will reappear;
It knows its emptiness
Is just the time of year ...

You must believe in love
And trust it's on its way,
Just as the sleeping rose
Awaits the kiss of May

So in a world of snow,
Of things that come and go,
Where what you think you know,
You can't be certain of,
You must believe in Spring and love

-- "You Must Believe in Spring"
Michel Legrand and Jacques Demy


You must believe in Spring. It is its own proof. Creation and rebirth can never be defeated. Look closely and you see eternity spilling from heaven.

And so hail to you, Dionysos,
God of abundant grapes!
Grant that we may come again
Rejoicing to this season,
And from that season onward for many a year.

-- Homeric Hymn to Dionysos
c. 680 BC


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