A hint of spring is in the air! Winter in my neck of the woods was mild, but I know many of you farther east are literally digging yourselves out of the deep freeze. One of my favorite signs of early spring is the blossoming apricot tree in my backyard. The tiny pink buds are a reminder that any winter, no matter how harsh, will always give way to the hope of spring.
Recently I was perusing an April 2014 issue of the Amish newspaper, The Budget, when I came across a lovely description of spring from a scribe in Guthrie, Kentucky: Irises are starting to bloom. Birds are busy building nests. The barn swallows are harassing the cats again. Last week we discovered a downy woodpecker enjoying himself at the hummingbird feeder.
The scribe from Winesburg, Ohio wrote: Laundry is merrily flapping and drying on the lines and our farmer neighbors are both getting fields prepared for planting, while birds everywhere fuss, warble, and sing while building nests, sitting on eggs, or caring for young.
And from Sugarcreek, Ohio: My garden has neat little rows of green where early garden goodies are popping through. The robin that made a nest on top of my grapevine wreath by our shelter has baby birds already. Spring is here.
One of my favorites from Middlefield, Ohio: Many yard sales are going on in the neighborhood and everywhere. A sure sign of spring!
A submission from Geneva, Indiana brought back wonderful memories of my own childhood: Dandelion greens, asparagus and rhubarb have found their way onto our tables.
The house where I grew up was on the edge of our family’s peach and cherry orchard. I spent many days among the trees creating adventures with my five sisters and our dog Cindy. In the warming days of early spring, we often discovered rhubarb and asparagus growing wild along the banks of the irrigation ditches. We’d pick it and proudly carry it home to Mom who cooked it up for dinner. Back then, I didn’t care for either rhubarb or asparagus, but it was always magical when we found some to take home to our enthusiastic mother.
I love springtime! I think spring is God’s way of telling us that there will always be hope, there will always be forgiveness, and there will always be new beginnings. That’s why my latest book is entitled Huckleberry Spring. Two people reclaim something beautiful that they thought they’d lost forever. The Amish not only commemorate Easter in the spring, but they also celebrate communion, a time to recommit to their faith and remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I don’t believe it is a mistake that Easter takes place in the full bloom of springtime. God wants us to remember His Son and the new life made possible only through Him.
Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer has been nominated for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award, and Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for Inspirational fiction. Both Huckleberry Hill and Huckleberry Christmas appeared in Examiner.com list of top ten inspirational books for 2014.