Welcome to Spring in Queens!
Usually I choose the prettiest pictures on my cell phone for this newsletter… But not this time! It is spring in Queens – and it’s been a long hard winter!
My first run this spring took me along streets surrounded by blackened snow piles, slowly melting to reveal the debris hiding there for months! Plastic bottles, scraps of newspaper, bills and bags and cigarette butts. It was not a pretty sight!
But it is a reality of spring in an urban area! For those of you in the suburbs or rural areas, the snow probably hides rotting fall leaves, misplaced children’s toys, a soppy glove lost in the first snowball battle!
And if you don’t have snow in your part of the world… well, once again, we envy you… just a little!
A friend told me about a recent conversation where someone said “suffering is just the flip side of joy.” I’ve heard those words in my head as I’ve been running and walking this spring. I know there’s problems with the philosophy and theology (we’ll get to some of that later), but there is a truth to the coin of seasons’ passing. One side suffering/ ugliness/ disgust – and the other side…. blessing? promise? joy?
Do you see it in the top right corner of this photo? We can get so caught up in the ugliness of the rest of the scene that we miss that small glimmer… it’s a trickle of water running into the drain! The snow is melting, the dirt is uncovered, but equally uncovered is a promise of fertility and production and security.
Ask anyone in drought-filled areas of California how much joy they would find in a melting snow pack and you’ll find the reversal we all need to notice!