We are now in the season of Easter – celebrating resurrection and glorious new life. Because Easter is always in Springtime (in the Northern hemisphere, at least) the language and imagery of Spring and the language and imagery of Resurrection have often become entwined. Lambs and daffodils … as well as an empty tomb.
This has never sat very easily with me. It is wonderful to see the signs of new life in nature around us, but the Easter message is of life coming when you least expect it – not when you most expect it. There is nothing natural about the message of Easter. A Springtime walk through a cemetery may be enlivened by blooms and birdsong, but an empty grave and a raised body are in a very different league and elicit a very different reaction!
And yet on my walk beside Lake Ewart today I was surprised at the way my heart was warmed and at the hope that rose within me when I saw two swans on the water where in recent days there has only been one. A sign of Spring. A sign of hope. It may not be the Easter message of God turning nature and history upside down, but it is a wonderful sign of life in the midst of our walk in the shadow of death.