” . . . I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Spring has finally come to Virginia. Actually, it came a few weeks ago, but timely posts are hard. We have been busy with institute and seminary and other missionaries. We did, however, manage to take some pictures to document the fact. Spring is here.
Spring and Easter remind us that Jesus Christ has paid the price that will bring us all resurrection, and for those who keep his commandments and repent, he offers eternal life. We see new life all around us, in nature, in new converts, in growth of testimony and conviction in the young people we work with. Spring is my favorite time of the year.
The first sign of spring was the return of two old friends. Well, our relationship with them is not that old, we were introduced just last fall. We wrote about their risky lifestyle in a previous post (Perilous Times). Our friends appeared, in the same perilous spot, during the last small snow storm of winter. We wish them happiness and long lives, despite their bad choices.
While on the subject of birds, here is one of the cardinals in our neighborhood. There are no birds this color in Utah and we find them fascinating. Their color grabs your eye, even their beaks are red-orange. They also returned to Charlottesville early and we are glad to have them back. Their lives bless our lives.
Moving to flora from fauna, we recently learned about to jonquils. One Sunday, before church, we visited the home of a member of the stake presidency for brunch. They live on Sugar Hollow Road, a beautiful name for a beautiful place, where this beautiful family lives. Jonquils (small daffodils with curved rather than flat leaves) grow wild in the forests and on the hillsides. These lovely flowers are small, and they have short lives, but they make the world a much better place while we have them.
After brunch we headed to church. As we drove back to Charlottesville we passed this group enjoying a sunny, spring morning on a side hill. These roaming wild turkeys, Benjamin Franklin’s choice for national bird, have come to life after a cold winter.
The state tree of Virginia is the dogwood. Good choice. This is the dogwood in front of the church on Hydraulic Avenue where we attend the Young Single Adult Ward. In just a little over a week these trees drop their flowers to make way for leaves. New life on dogwoods is a great welcome sign for those who come to church.
During an early morning seminary visit in Harrisonburg we were introduced to this little guy. Home is near the front porch where he lives with his yet unborn siblings. Mom and dad are near-by. He is a subtle reminder of how fragile life is. Life for all of us is a blessing, but life in this world is only for a brief moment.
Redfields is a housing development near our apartment. A short walk takes you to a pond in the middle of the development. The pond has been quiet for the past couple of months, but that is changing. These three painted turtles share the pond with lots of relatives. For now they have obtained a prestigious place on this pond log, at least until a bigger turtle comes along. What we obtain in prestige and the things of this world don’t last forever.
To begin with, the purpose of this post was to share what early spring is like in our new home. Hopefully the pictures and their descriptions show our family and friends one of the reasons we love serving in this area. What we see around us is certainly different from what we have experienced in past springs and, well, we really like it.
As we review the post and look at the pictures another thought comes to us. Although it is beautiful and pleasant, it will not last forever. This was brought to our attention dramatically as we drove toward town yesterday and saw that one of the Canadian geese had been hit by a car. The inevitable happened. One goose is now standing in the median alone.
Once again our thoughts turn to why we are here. We want to teach others, and learn for ourselves, that there is life after death because of Jesus Christ. We know we have the possibility of eternal life, life with our Father in Heaven and his Son. We want to live there with our families and others that we love.
“And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” (D&C14:7)