“In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree; in cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free.”

The words from Natalie Sleeth’s “Hymn of Promise” are some of my favorite. They are a reminder that despite it all, there is always hope of a new life and new possibilities.

Sleeth was the wife of a Methodist minister who wrote the song a short time before her husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He asked that it be played at his funeral.

As the days lengthen and I watch the trees and azalea bushes blossom, its easy to reflect on the seasons and cycles in life. We do have a time when we are full of energy, a time when we hibernate, a time for harvest and a time of renewal.

Spring reminds me that despite the cold and rainy winters, there is a time for new beginnings, new growth, the promise of new life.

I love Spring and Easter because they are a reminder to me of hope and the promise of new beginnings.

“There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody; there’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me,” the hymn continues. “From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

The first of January is the day that gets all the good press about being a time of change, a time of new beginnings. It is the start of a new calendar year.

But I believe that the real new year, the new real beginning is Spring.

Day-Planner companies know it. They sell day planners that start with an April 1 start date.

Companies that produce cleaning products know it. They sell everything new and improved needed to sweep out the cobwebs of winter. In fact, there is even a name for it: Spring cleaning.

The season of Lent, 40 days preceding Easter, is a time of “Spring cleaning” for our souls, a time to remember that God’s best building materials are the broken ones. Lent is a time I deliberately list things I am grateful for, what I appreciate in life.

Then there is Easter, the day of hope and God’s promise fulfilled.

Easter is a day of rebirth for Christians. It is a celebration of new life and the promise of eternal life.

“In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity; in our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity, in our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

Easter Sunday is an opportunity for new beginnings in all aspects of our lives. We can always make a new start, develop a new idea, find a new way of doing things.

So during the season of Spring and this celebration of Easter, I think Sleeth’s “Hymn of Promise” says it best: “In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

“In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity; in our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,

In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

Michelle Mann is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at mmann@southeastsun.com.

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