“Pain passes but beauty remains.” Renoir
It was early April, my first spring in my new place. Normally, the coming of spring fills me with anticipation. But that year, grief and loss had been my companions for some time. My soul ached for relief.
During the year before, I had found that beauty in many forms—nature, literature, art, theater, music—helped soothe the pain I felt. It transported me to another place, took me out of myself for a period of time. So I began looking for it wherever I could.
One thing stands out in my mind, though.
When the first signs of spring started appearing in my yard, I noticed my neighbor’s crabapple tree next to the back fence. I hadn't seen it before, but now it grabbed my attention, so beautiful with the full pink blossoms covering it.
All through the winter, the tree had been asleep and unnoticed. It was still living, just dormant—its blossoms and leaves long gone. It had survived the cold, hard season. And then, as the temperature of the air and the soil warmed up, the buds that had formed in the fall grew and broke open. Unfurled their pink loveliness like fingers from a fist.
I could see that tree from my kitchen window, from the front yard and the back. I could even see it when I pulled into the driveway.
From all these vantage points, I spent a lot of time just looking at it, drinking in its beauty and thinking about what I had been through. About my own cold, hard season.
The tree reminded me that the sun seemed more present now, lighting up the landscape, making the weather warm and the days long. Warm weather meant that my little girl would be out of preschool for the summer, and we had many fun, light-filled days ahead of us.
My spirit slowly began to lift.
Through the beauty of that crabapple tree, I felt as if God gave me hope. Hope for the future, hope for me and my little girl.
It's as if he said, Your long winter is over. Spring is here at last.
Have you had a similar experience of beauty bringing you hope or comfort? Tell me about it in the comments below.