Breathe the sweet scents of the season.  A blossoming invitation to hope. New life sneaking a peek as the sun burns with delight and begs for company.  The slumbering Daffodils and Texas Blue Bonnets emerge from their damp, dark hiding places ready to come to the party.  To begin again. In all the excitement the grass flushes in brilliant shades of emerald as the trees applaud with tiny buds.  

Spring!  The season of newness.  A new thing. A new way.  A new day.

Closets are emptied.  Heat harboring fleece is replaced with breathable cotton.  Heaviness is replaced with light. The day seems lighter and we sense something new is in the air!

Spring is a reminder that, “to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)  Also, a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to break down, a time to build up, a time to mourn, and a time to dance…not exactly in that order.  

“He has made EVERYTHING beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

White weaved baskets begging to be filled with young blooms.  Easter bonnets of white and pink; symbols to announce the season, spring.  Oh those pretty little hats. My girls both had to have one. Like a prerequisite, an iron-clad uniform code, a tattoo on your Granny’s…(leather binder book of “musts”-please).  I’m just saying, it was a had to type of act, along with four-inch trimmed laced anklet socks and a pocketbook to match.  Pocketbook, you know, is an old-school term for purse or handbag.  For some of you, a diaper bag disguised as a purse just because it looks really trendy and has a pocket for everything, including dinner.  You know who you are! Not judging, jus’ sayin’!

A couple of ladies at our church duel every Easter Sunday morning for the Top Bonnet Award.  Not really. But yes, last we heard there were still two motivated and confident gals who top it off with swoops and feathers.  There is no annual “official” fashion war or award. Honestly though, wouldn’t that be exciting? Not the war, but the wearing of fancy hats?  Who’s in?

My little friend Gabi wore an Easter bonnet; white with scalloped edging.  At three years old, rhythm and rhyme were the fibers of her spirit. I was her first music teacher.  I taught her clever words and beats and she taught our class how to dance full form-even when the music stopped.  

So suddenly she was gone from us.  Only three inches of her delicate hat could be seen peeking over the white basket where-in she lay.    There are no words.

The canopy that sheltered the ending moments that day served no real purpose.  No sun. No rain. No understanding. We sat with our friends quietly as if waiting for something.  Something to move us past the pain. Slowly the mourner’s shuffled to their cars. Gabi’s mommy and daddy didn’t want to leave and we didn’t want to leave them.  They stood. We stayed. David and I assured them we would remain until her basket was tucked away beneath the earth. In a broken tone I said, “We’ll stay with her, it will be okay”.  

For Gabi, is well.  She is experiencing joy and dance and laughter and a “beyond imagination” kind of living.  For believers, death does not get the final word. Death is the beginning of living.

Death is death but it’s not the end.  What appears to be dormant is merely the interlude.  

For those left behind, there is a word.  It “does not disappoint”. (Romans 5:5 NIV)  It offers a new day and a new way. Promises rebirth after the rain.  Laughter to follow the tears. And affords us strength to rebuild after devastation.  

This word offers a steady beat to those trying to dance in the dark even when the music stops.

That word is HOPE!

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