Some people in the southern US have a tradition of planting their gardens on Good Friday.
I like the symbolism of that — putting seeds in the ground with the expectation of new life, just as Jesus was placed in the tomb to rise again.
I love the symbolism but I live too far north to plant anything outside. So yesterday I got some new houseplants. I lost a few to chilly drafts during some cold spells this winter. Ok, I’ll admit, some just died of neglect.
Whatever the reason they died, I was tired of looking at dead plants. So on Good Friday this year I transplanted some, repotted others, and arranged the new ones in my kitchen and bathroom, which have the sunniest windows. I have a little herb garden in the kitchen now. I also got a sweet-smelling purple hyacinth just for the joy of it.
Now when I look around instead of seeing dried-up leaves and reminders of death, I see green and purple and red. Reminders of life. Reminders that resurrection follows death.
Sometimes when we lose something we have to choose to let go, as I did with my poor Christmas cactus that succumbed to cold drafts right around Christmas. I didn’t like throwing it away, but now I have a new one to care for and nourish. And sometimes what we thought was lost was actually simply dormant, waiting for resurrection, like my other cactus trying to make a comeback. Like Christ in the tomb.
It’s good to be reminded that resurrection is coming, that the life which proceeds from God’s love is never-ending and never-failing and available to all of us.
Not long ago everything outside was dull and lifeless. Now I see my bushes beginning to turn green, forsythia is blooming, and wonder of wonders, my daffodils are blooming just in time for Easter. We celebrate Christ’s resurrection tomorrow. But every day is a chance for new life, for comebacks, for beginning anew.