Spring is finally coming here to New Brunswick. Some of the signs of spring are universal no matter where you live on the continent. I sweep the floor three times a day and still find mud tracked from the door halfway to the bathroom. The snow is slipping away in streams and the air is slowly getting warmer. Bits of green are beginning to insinuate themselves into the color palate of the landscape.
However, in our new rural, Atlantic Canada, life, spring has also brought with it some new experiences. The Vessey’s seed catalog is a regional sign of spring and is now popular reading at our breakfast table. While the children discuss the value of yellow corn or yellow and white corn, Jonathan and I are having serious discussions about possibly raising our own meat chickens. In fact, the schedule of chick delivery days at the local feed store is in my purse.
As I drove home from the grocery store a few days ago, eagerly scanning the bare trees for any hint of color, I caught sight of some smoke rising from a clearing in what looked like an uninhabited wood lot. Smoke is another universal sign of spring. People are out doing yard work, or getting a head start on grilling, or burning off some grass to prepare for new growth. That wasn’t what was happening here, though. The smoke was rising from a small shed in the center of a maple grove. Someone had tapped their trees and was boiling maple sap for syrup and sugar.
It was possible during the snowy winter days to believe that other than the weather and proximity to friends, not much had changed in our life; but with the blue bells and green shoots, there is blossoming in me the understanding that our life has, fundamentally, changed. We are in a new place, and like the spring around us, we are having the privilege of watching the tiny buds and tentative shoots of what will, Lord willing, grow into a lifetime of friendship and ministry. This is the spring of 2014, and it is the spring of our new life. In every way, I am eager to see what will pop up.