Walter W. Pickut
Every springtime I marvel at the flowers parting the soil from far beneath, like green swords slicing their way up out of the earth. Sometimes they even push up green and straight through the last dusting of winter snow.
Yet I clearly remember them dying last fall. They turned brown, wrinkled up, fell flat onto the rain-soaked soil, and faded among the fallen leaves.
The Springtime mystery for me, back when I was a child and hadn’t learned the unromantic science behind it all, was whether the flowers had actually died and then miraculously come back to life, or had they never really left at all, but just went to sleep underground for a while.
Harriet Ann Jacobs, a pre-civil war African-American abolitionist and author, understood life arising out of such darkness. She wrote,
“The beautiful spring comes; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”
Spring is a time of revival. Spring rain washes away the winter’s dreary, cold days. Spring sunshine lightens every step. The soul is revived.
However, some of the most beautiful flowers do die, having been meant to only live one summer. But their seeds never left, and in some way brought them back. Some people die, too, but our memories—in a way—can also bring them back to life.
Last week, for example, saw the passing of an old friend, a wise observer of life and a delightfully insightful political satirist, Mark Russell.
This week, on behalf of the Jamestown Gazette and Mark’s old friend (and ours) Jim Roselle, we invite all of our readers to spend a little time with Mark. You can bring him back in memory through hundreds of hours in YouTube videos, songs, and the best of his recorded TV shows. He was funny enough to make you laugh, insightful enough about politics to make you mad, and wise enough at times to even make you cry. This spring, lets all bring Mark back to life just one more time in our hearts.
Springtime holds another special message, too. Whether you are spiritually drawn to the Easter message of resurrection, or you are drawn to the saga of rebirth in nature, consider the words of Albert Schweitzer, the 20th century theologian, philosopher, and physician,
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
So, as to whether the flowers of spring have come back again or never really left, please join us in celebrating the reviving spirit of Easter 2023 in yourself.
And, by the way, any time you give to thoughts of springtime rebirth and Easter without thinking about bunnies—fuzzy or chocolate—or thinking about brightly colored eggs, will bring you just a little bit closer to the real values of the season.
Enjoy the read.