On Blossoms, Birdsong, and Hope

Phyllis Nissila

As I walked by, a spring gust shook loose a cluster of blossoms from a cherry tree. Iblossoms stopped and lifted my head and hands to the pink profusion. I felt suddenly as light- and joy-filled as a girl receiving her first bouquet.

“Thanks, God,” I whispered.

I thought about the passionate though transitory nature of love’s first bloom, about the physical and emotional impetus that drives us to ecstasy and to madness, that empowers us to slay dragons, ford danger, and travel to earth’s ends.

I thought about how exquisitely infatuation consumes and about how deeper love grows, though less dramatically, through time, loyalty, and kindness.

Especially kindness.

But mostly I thought about infatuation, the beauty and scent of it that, like a sudden burst of blossoms, can render one suddenly breathless, yearning.

“But why,” I queried God, “is love’s first stage so fleeting?”

In the asking, I knew one answer. This potent force, driven partly by chemistry and partly by some other mysterious force, has a practical function: the continuation of the race. Then I saw another answer in the way the seen mirrors the unseen.

As nature attracts and transforms its own, God draws and renews His own through His Word and his works.

Truth would have been enough, but He lavishes beauty, too. He fashions flowers for bouquets, mists the air with fragrance, and jewels the night sky.

He prompts hope with birdsong in the dregs of winter*, encourages and inspires in the shimmer of a sun-splashed lake, and delights with a sudden shower of pink blossoms even as through the power of His Word, he saves, heals, and delivers—a draw of a much more potent kind. (And beneath all the fading glitz, isn’t this at the core of the heart’s cry?)

And God’s passion never dies.

Though lovers may come and go, no one can take our hand from His as he woos us into eternity to that day when, dressed in bridal white, the Body of Christ will be presented to the Bridegroom through Whom all was made—and made possible, and Whose gifts are not subject to moth and rust—or to the whims and fancies of a fickle race.

“Beloved,” He whispers, even now, “look up.”


*Poet Thomas Hardy describes this well in his poem, “The Darkling Thrush.” Take a look:

I leant upon a coppice gate

When Frost was spectre-gray,

And Winter’s dregs made desolate

The weakening eye of day.

The tangled bine-stems scored the sky

Like strings of broken lyres,

And all mankind that haunted nigh

Had sought their household fires.


The land’s sharp features seemed to be

The century’s corpse outleant,

His crypt the cloudy canopy,

The wind his death-lament.

The ancient pulse of germ and birth

Was shrunken hard and dry,

And every spirit upon earth

Seemed fervourless as I.



At once a voice arose among

The bleak twigs overhead

In a full-hearted evensong

Of joy illimited;

An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,

In blast-beruffled plume,

Had chosen thus to fling his soul

Upon the growing gloom.


So little cause for carolings

Of such ecstatic sound

Was written on terrestrial things

Afar or nigh around,

That I could think there trembled through

His happy good-night air

Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew

And I was unaware.

(Oh, what that little bird knew…what we can know…)


Images from the public domain

This entry was posted in Bible/literary themes, elements, Devotionals, most recent posts, spiritual transformation and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to On Blossoms, Birdsong, and Hope

  1. Cathy says:

    The grass withers and flowers fade but his WORD ENDURES!

    I have been watching Discovering The Jewish Jesus, and the Rabbi has been discussing the Song of Psalms or Solomen. He is talking about Jesus = Bridegroom and his Bride(The Church) and kissing=the WORD! It is Revelation of the Bride and the marriage supper of the lamb, the Church and Jesus, ignoring sensuality! A very beautiful story utilizing the symbolism of Marriage for our understanding!


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