My mind drifted back to Germany’s graveyards as I potted some new geraniums last week on my deck. In Rhineland’s cemeteries, one’s visit is rewarded by the sight of rows of six-foot individual gardens, neat rectangles of beauty, ablaze with color, lovingly planted and tended by grieving loved ones. They kneel, the dark soil caking their fingernails, praying as they toil in the sun, expressing their love and their faith in new life.
In these days of April, flowers announce to our winter-weary eyes the arrival of spring, a promise of better days ahead. New life.
Some Christian churches drape the crosses in their front yards in black during Lent, the 40-day period of reflection and self-denial that precedes Christ’s crucifixion. Other do this only during Holy Week, in the final week leading to Christ’s crucifixion. On Easter morning, these same mournful crosses are transformed, bedecked with beautiful flowers, signaling resurrection. New life.
We celebrate when we behold tiny green shoots pushing through the soil, promising beautiful flowers that will follow.
We marvel at this annual miracle, and we vow renewal in our own lives.