Even as the snow cover retreats from a retreat center there are signs of God restarting the spring growth cycles. In side the beehives at Holmes the queen bee has started laying eggs in order to have plenty of workers out gathering pollen in 21 days. As she is laying eggs, the current worker bees are busy keeping all those eggs warm so they can develop. Did you know that the preferred temperature in the hive is 94 °? The hive senses the longer days and the impending blooming of trees and flowers.
In the woods at the edge of streams and ponds another intriguing new growth is starting. If you walk through the woods at this time of year you may notice a whiff of “skunky” smell. It is produced by the skunk cabbage beginning it’s spring growth. But the plant is under a foot of snow right now. The skunk cabbage is the first low plant to emerge because it has developed the ability to give off warmth as leaves begin to grow. It literally melts a hole in the snow so that it can collect lots of spring sunlight. It is a plant hidden in the snow cover till it warms and opens a path for sunlight.
The confirmation retreat this past weekend focused on the theme Imagining God, Following Jesus. First evening small group conversations were very lively as participants discussed their initial drawings of God and shared thoughts and wondering about God. There was energy in their voices as they talked to new small group members about their experience of God, thoughts and questions. They were expressing energy and new life thinking about God in new setting and with new companions. Their energy was melting doubt and clarifying images for each other even as the sun began to shine warmly on Saturday conversations. Following Jesus becomes easier as together we shed light on a variety of images of God and see how God is acting in our lives.
The snow cover is retreating this week. Crocus and daisies will be poking through the earth soon. How is your warmth found in faith preparing for spring and new community?