Buttercups bloom in the front yard of my Great Grandmother’s home in Golden Pond, Kentucky. A sign of spring. A sign of hope. A sight that brings JOY! As a child it was my delight as we turned into the gravel drive: Granny Wilson’s buttercups are in bloom; all is well.
When her home and land were redirected to the development of what people now know as “Land Between the Lakes”, it was the buttercups that helped me find the way to what was her driveway, and the road that led up to our family cemetery on top of the hill. A sacred and special place.
The road and entire landscape of the earth in that spot has completely changed over the years. I have actually had to stop at the Golden Pond Visitor’s Center to ask exactly where to turn and get on the gravel drive to reach the hill. And…the buttercups still bloom there. Years ago, it was her front yard; now it is simply beautiful land that people come to enjoy. Perhaps no one imagines that an actual family and community once lived here. Memories were created. People here fell in love. Babies were born here. There were weddings and funerals and a soda shop and post office. A bit of moonshine making too. And there were buttercups signaling all the other flowers of the forest to wake up and bloom. A sign of hope.
Something in me still fills with joy at the sight of buttercups. It is a joy I need. It reminds me that what appears to be gone completely in the winter season is actually just waiting for the right time to resurface. Life is very much like this. In seasons of dormancy or preparation or suffering or waiting…. there is always something happening underneath that will emerge anew at just the right time. God leaves us signs of this in nature everywhere.
What we are experiencing in our world right now will change the landscape of our lives. It is changing our priorities and schedules and plans. The whole world is making an effort; something we are doing together. In the spot of the world where I live and work, the buttercups and daffodils are in full bloom. The land is sending forth the message and the forests are coming alive with buds and blooms that will bring joy at their very presence.
Know that this season of difficulty will pass, though it lingers now. As we experience changes that require our letting go of plans and the way we thought this year would be, look for the flowers and trees reminding us that God is always making all things new. Grieve what we have to let go. Make space for what will come. Hope is right with us; God is with us.
Love and friendship and care are never at risk unless we choose to stop offering it. Give someone “buttercups” today. Share a smile. God has filled you with a spirit of love and grace. Offer it. Give it. Don’t delay. Everyone needs to be reminded of the Hope we hold together in Christ.
Lord Christ, have mercy on us. Open our eyes to your signs of hope everywhere. Stir us by the presence of your Spirit with us right now. Wake us up from our winter slumber. Replace our fear with trust in you; we know that you are faithful. You are the God that makes all things possible and we love you. Thank you for the gift of Christ who reminds us, “I am with you always…” (Matthew 28). Amen and Amen.
I Will Wait for You by Shane and Shane