The old saying “April showers bring May flowers” can be traced back to 1387. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the following in his Canterbury Tales:
Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour.
This Middle English verse has been adapted to the current saying by various individuals over the centuries. In many ways, April showers and May flowers are metaphors for our mortal journey on the road of life.
The late metaphysical poet and painter William Blake wrote:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
In examining some old college journals, I discovered the following poem I wrote in the 1970s. It attempts to capture the essence of our mortal lives and the promise of a new creation by our Creator:
They are the symbols of Eden,
the reminders of the lost paradise.
They grace us with their perfume and beauty.
They teach us lessons of life:
to be pure, free, happy.
They impart what they receive.
They grow in order to bless.
what would we do without them?
Life would be a sad state
if it was barren and waste,
but flowers make that impossible...
So let us be the children of the Creator,
who dance with the wind
who bathe in the sun
who wash in the rain
who bow with the dew,
Who turn toward the light in order
but death is not an ending, but a beginning...
Memories of images, scents, touches remain,
but the flower drops its droplet.
From that seed sprouts a new creation just as lovely.
So let us profit from the flowers of earth,
as they teach us,
the children of earth, about the realities of heaven.
As we survey the natural beauty of this planet in our mirror darkly, we see reminders of the Eden lost. The promise of Eden restored on this earth will surely come to pass.
G.D. Williams is recently retired after working in Adventist higher education for 30+ years. His pursuits include photography, genealogy, collecting antique books, and working on his old farmhouse.
Photos by the author.
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