A Spring Flower Garland

The Annunciation, f.45v from Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary; vellum, 15th C; courtesy of the University of Edinburgh

The Annunciation, f.45v from Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary; vellum, 15th C; courtesy of the University of Edinburgh

Five days after the announcement proclaiming the arrival of Spring we have it: The Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary: “For behold, you shall conceive and bring forth a Son . . .”

Winter has been long and brutal. I am cold; I am weary; my heart is frozen. I long for life. In the Northeast this Winter has been especially harsh, and I am just now starting to see the sprouts of daffodils and tulips poking through cold soil. The new life of Easter is just around the corner.

How many times a day do I become flustered and discombobulated—and downright cranky—by disruptions to my “plan,” my routine? Mary’s acceptance of the news brought by her unexpected visitor gives me a hint of how to experience blessing in my own life. May I learn to say, like Mary, “May it be unto me as you have said. . .”

Spring will come; it always does. I long for a fresh springtime in my permafrost heart.

 

In honor of Mary and Springtime, here’s a poem collected and recorded by Alexander Carmichael in his Carmina Gadelica:

 

Praise of Mary

 

Flower-garland of the Ocean,

          Flower-garland of the land,

Flower-garland of the heavens,

          Mary, Mother of God.

 

Flower-garland of the earth

          Flower-garland of the skies,

Flower-garland of the angels

          Mary, Mother of God.

 

Flower-garden of the mansion

          Flower-garland of the stars

Flower-garland of paradise,

          Mary Mother of God.

 

 

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