Last year our yard had one peach blossom. And later, one peach. One out-of-reach peach. Infested and dessicated, it eventually fell of its own weight, sloughed off from a tree that kept living.
This year is different. There’s too many blossoms to count. Maybe it was the pruning we did last autumn. Maybe it was the right number of freezing days and nights over winter.
Whatever the reason; in this time of spring, this time of renewal, blossoms on the peach tree remind me that they are not last year’s blossom renewed. That one did its job best it could, withered, petals falling softly to the vast ground beneath. Became food. Or soil. As all life becomes soil, given enough time. And, given enough time, stardust.
No, the bloom of spring is not life renewed. It’s new life. Spanking new life. New life from old, timeless life. Growth from death.
How much more complicated is renewal for our animal bodies. Renewal is no physical option. (Every seven years for us humans, if I remember my grade school biology.) But spiritual renewal. Emotional renewal. Personal and social renewal. I wonder whether these carry the inevitability that Earth’s annual renewal brings. This renewal takes attention. Takes the right combination of water and light and soil. And sometimes pruning.
This month Jondhi Harrell speaks of renewal, both personal and social as he addresses mass incarceration, justice, and citizens returning from prison. Jay and Jesse offer renewal through our own UU version of the chant, music, and silence of Taize. Seminarian guest Dave Dunn explores the covenant renewal of Passover. And we welcome the lessons of renewal that the Earth offers to teach this Earth Day Sunday… and a little Bike-tism for good measure.
Whatever needs to live or die within, welcome the spirit of renewal. See you at church!