Maybe you’ve seen the “11 seasons” meme that’s floating around the internet, the one that reminds us we have to go through a second winter, a third spring, and a mud season before we ever actually arrive at real spring. I thought about this meme standing at the March for Our Lives rally on the day before Palm Sunday, several days passed the Vernal Equinox, watching icicles form on David beard, noting that my toes were going numb. Surprisingly, it’s not second winter that makes me wonder whether actual spring will ever really arrive.
No, it’s mud season.
I’m writing this article to you on the Tuesday of Holy Week on what is perhaps the first full day of mud season. We know mud season well here in Illinois, that period of days when you must avoid mud slicks, puddles upon puddles, and snow banks simultaneously. The sky is a flat sheet of grey. It’s too warm to be cold and too cold to be warm. The roof is leaking. The basement’s flooding. It is the Mondayest of Tuesdays. No amount of coffee and unicorns will turn this day around. We will be stuck here in the mud forever. Just about the time I’m ready to go back to bed for good, the words to a familiar Easter song float through my head. “Now the green blade rises from the buried grain. Wheat that in the dark Earth for many days has lain. Love lives again that with the dead has been: love is come again like wheat that rises green.”
From mud season, actual spring will emerge.
The bulbs, long forgotten, will sprout flowers. The grain, buried deep in the Earth will sprout new wheat. The wheat will be harvested, milled, mixed and kneaded and baked, broken and shared. This is how Resurrection works. The hymn continues, “In the grave they laid their Love who hate had slain, thinking that their love would never wake again, laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen: love is come again like wheat that rises green.”
New Life takes time to grow, probably more time than we’d like.
Maybe we have to cycle through multiple mud seasons before maybe we have to cycle through multiple mud seasons before we’re really ready to rise again. Sometimes the grip of grief is so strong, the power of pain so intense, the scarring of our souls so significant that our germination time is lengthened beyond what we think possible.
Nothing is impossible with God.
When you feel as if resurrection will never come, think about this Easter hymn. And remember what we all know to be true here in Illinois: actual spring will arrive someday.