March 20 – Spring – G M Hopkins sj

Thursday, March 20’s “Countdown to Spring” live clock tells us that Spring begins at midnight tonight. Thursday morning, we wake into Spring. Gerard Manley Hopkins, sj writes “Spring” as lush with beaty and relief and delight (“the racing lambs too have fair their fling.”). Fleeting beauty takes my breath away and sets my table with profligate smiles, wooing me to let go and revel at the first unmistakable signs of new life, to risk delight even though I know that such beauty is not the whole story. Risking deligh, though, is a real part of the whole story. “Risk it,” says Hopkins.

I had been hoping for a lot more rain on Wednesday to use the high 40s and the breezes to melt a lot more of the tired snow that hasn’t found a way to leave gracefully yet. But I saw this morning, near the fountain, very tiny shoots peeking out of the winter earth. They were worth smiling about.

I may miss tomorrow’s post — I’ll be at Creighton U in Omaha. Have a good weekend.

john sj


Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

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