Is there a more refreshing sight in winter than seeing a snowdrop flower poking its head up through the leaves? When little else is growing in the British countryside, snowdrops can brighten the otherwise barren landscape – and finding a clutch of white blooms elevates any walk. Snowdrops are a symbol of life returning after the darkness of winter, and a reminder that spring will soon be here. The snowdrop may appear delicate but it is a hardy little plant, surviving cold temperatures and even snow if it comes. Its Latin classification, Galanthus nivalis, literally means ‘milk flower of the snow’, and apparently there are around 2,500 varieties in the UK.
As I was walking along the water meadows near my house on a rather rainy, cold day I suddenly spied a beautiful clump of snowdrops nestling amongst the overgrown and rather muddy field next to the path. It certainly refreshed my soul and brought a smile to my face as I stopped to admire the wonder of the brilliant white flowers.
By the time this magazine is published no doubt the snowdrops will be nearly over but our gardens and hedgerows will have daffodils nodding happily at us as we go about our daily lives. The contrast of these flowers against the dull countryside reminded me of the contrast of hope in a world that can often seem dark and barren with endless bad news. What for us might be the promise of a snowdrop or daffodil flower?
For Christians, this month of March holds Lenten times of contemplation of our frailty, of hopes and dreams that can so easily be dashed along the rocks of life, of times when even our best efforts at life seem to come to nothing. But this month also holds times of wonder, celebration and thankfulness that the Jesus, whose birth we celebrated a few short weeks ago, faced everything that life could throw at him, more than survived. He conquered. So that love overcomes hate. Life overcomes death. Reconciliation overcomes separation. Hope overcomes despair. This is the 5 ultimate hardy flower of promise and hope that lives and grows within us despite cold temperatures.
At St Lawrence Church we both celebrate and explore what this means in varying different ways and services. We would love you to join us if you were able.
God bless you with hope and joy this Easter.