Those among us who were lucky—or unlucky—enough to take piano lessons when we were young might have learned a short piece titled Rustles of Spring. Composed of runs and arpeggios that showed off one’s virtuosity to great advantage without demanding very much in terms of real skill, it was a favorite on the recital program.
The composer, Christian Sinding, was born in 1856 in Norway, a Scandinavian country where winters are long and fierce and spring arrives like the commutation of a death sentence. This little piece captures so perfectly the sheer joy, exhilaration and relief we are feeling as March turns into April in 2021. It’s not just the end of a long winter, it’s the end of a long and terrible year—a year of anguish, fear, anger, resentment, disappointments and discontent. We survived, but many did not, and those who did will never be the same. No matter where on this Earth you lived, life itself was sick.
No, I take that back. Life is resilience itself, and just now, when snowstorms have done their best to subdue us, ice has threatened everything from our power grids to our bones and cold has seeped into our spirits as well as our bodies, life survives. Dawn seems delicate but determined; small round tips poke through the ground as the green leaves of summer are being born. The air is different, and even when the rains come, everything seems gentler.
Now, before that first rustle of spring is over, take time to breathe deeply of this moment: what it is, what it represents and what it means this year. The Song of Solomon tells us “the rains are over and gone” but they aren’t really; there will be rain and other winters, and we must catch the moment of sunshine and happiness, thankfulness and remembrance while we can. Perhaps you might even want to look up “Rustles of Spring” and listen to the sounds of happiness, welcome, hope, new life and love in a language I think God uses when he/she, too, is so joyful there are no words to quite describe it.