When we discuss spring and how the earth seems to regenerate, I think there are applications to our physical, mental and spiritual lives as well.
Why not look at our natural surroundings and compare?
When winter arrives it typically demonstrates that fall preceded it resulting in the natural environment becoming dormant. Leaves dry and fall, and nourish the earth. Trees, vegetation and even wildlife itself practically draws within. There is a lull of life, so it seems. And we’re lonely.
Then NEW LIFE springs forth with all its vibrant colors and freshness. It’s like that which was dead is now alive. I for one am appreciative of the NEW LIFE – physically, mentally and spiritually; and have embraced it.
Even our bodies want to regenerate physically. We’ve been somewhat sedentary for a season. They may become more hesitant to move quickly again, or maybe they lost some of the pizazz and strength.
This slow-down of our lives and the environment around us no doubt can affect our mental being as well. We ponder on the gloom and cold too much without thinking ahead of the vibrancy of spring. We need new growth and recovery with our own physical and mental lives.
Pondering on the past spring of life and the dormancy stage of our lives can and will affect our mental picture of life itself. Let’s think again of the spring of our lives and regenerate to even a new way of thinking.
Well, how about the spiritual as well? Maybe we have never given it much thought. Maybe we have thought about it before and discounted it. Maybe we recall a time when we were spiritual and then our progress slowed. Or maybe we feel disappointed in our lack of spiritual regeneration or growth, or someone has let us down.
Part of Wikipedia’s definition of “spiritual” mentions that it traditionally refers to a religious process of reformation which “aims to recover the original shape of man, oriented at ‘the image of God’ as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world.”
It seems that all of humankind is in search of something or someone to help regenerate us – to shape us – toward our destiny or calling of life.
While there are beliefs around the world so varied as practically the sand on the seashore we still search.
Life is too short to not enjoy it, right? Doesn’t God want us to enjoy our lives and the creation He has established around us? I know there are many who are searching and many who do not consider an absolute or higher being. That’s each person’s decision and he or she has the right to individual beliefs.
Is it befitting though that the Christian Easter season coincides with spring? Easter represents NEW LIFE as recorded in New Testament recordings.
Google’s definition of Easter identifies this special time as “the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and held (in the Western Church) between March 21 and April 25, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.”
Compare Google’s definition of Easter to Wikipedia’s definition that modern spirituality is centered on the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Expansion of this definition states: “It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being.”
The word “resurrection” is referenced in Wikipedia as the “concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of ancient religions, a dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and resurrects. The death and resurrection of Jesus, an example of resurrection, is the central focus of Christianity.”
There are numerous accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian’s New Testament. I like how Luke, one of Jesus’ disciples, documented the resurrection of Christ.
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”8 Then they remembered his words.” Luke 24 (New International Version)
While Jesus lived here on Earth his ministry was about LOVE and PEACE through God. He talked about drawing all people through Him to God. He talked about providing abundant life to all who believed and trust in Him.
The butterfly reminds me of the old life and how it served a purpose, created as a caterpillar. It then died to self for a higher purpose. This too reminds me of a transformation in life.
So, is it worth the opportunity to leave the dead and dread of winter in our lives to spring forth into hope as Jesus Christ mentioned? He talked about providing abundant life, not death. I think that’s a great sign of hope and spiritual rebirth that will complement our mental and physical regeneration as well.
As our external environment springs forth we have a choice to allow or disallow the internal being to spring forth also. I’m sure happy with my choice and feel that I’m experiencing abundant LIFE today.
Let’s spring forth with color and brightness with new life to help the world wherein we are placed. Besides, our season is too short to not live life abundantly here before moving on.
I know we’ve been ready for, and have been commenting on spring being here, right? Many have noted spring arrived with snow still on the ground.
While traveling through some of southern Georgia, U.S.A. this week, particularly along the scenic highways around Clyattville, we had the feeling that spring is truly here with warmer temperatures, ranging near 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I think that’s a welcome for those who desire to visit the southeastern U.S.
While observing much of the area’s natural decor has developed leaves and buds, I noticed the pecan trees without their buds. So, what does that signify?
Yes, we may have warmer weather and spring has sprung but maybe there is some cooler weather still on the way.
There is an old saying that winter isn’t over until the pecan trees bud. I did a little research to found out how true; however, I didn’t locate any specifics.
I did gather information that indicates pecan trees are some of the latest to bud as they must build up “chill units.”
In my simple interpretation, chill units relate to how many cold encounters the tree has. Apparently, each tree variant has different chill units. Once that tree has a certain number of cold encounters and begins to experience warmer temperatures then the leaves and buds begin to appear.
Wow, that’s pretty cool. While other trees may have the desire to bloom when spring is nearing or has arrived, regardless if there is cold weather still to come, the pecan tree waits a little longer until it senses the threat of cold weather has passed.
There have been times however when the pecan trees were not as accurate, but it seems they are mostly accurate.
Pecans, although one of the most recently domesticated major crops has been an important part of southern U.S. diet and culture since before the arrival of European settlers. Fur traders originally brought the pecan to the U.S. Atlantic Coast from Illinois, calling them “Illinois nuts.” The term pecan was coined by the Algonquin Indians, a North American tribe located in the southwest. It originated from their word “pacane”, which means a nut that needs to be cracked with a stone.
Georgia Pecans – Although pecans are highly favored in Georgia today, Georgia farmers were somewhat hesitant in accepting the benefits of this nut at first. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that several individual Georgia landowners began producing and marketing pecans on a small scale. In Savannah, there was about ninety-seven total acres by 1889.
By the 1950s, Georgia had become the country’s leading producer of pecans and remains the largest pecan-producing state in the nation to date. Georgia pecan trees are one of the largest fruit-bearing trees with just one acre of pecan trees producing about 1,000 pounds of pecans. Today, more than 500 varieties of pecans exist with over 1,000 cultivars being released over the history of pecan culture.
It takes 12 years for a pecan tree to mature. When grown in ideal conditions, it can live and stay productive for over 200 years.
Pecan wood is often utilized for the manufacturing of furniture, paneling and flooring.
The city of Albany, Georgia boasts of having more than 600,000 pecan trees, earning it the title of “Pecan Capital of the U.S.”
Pecans are related to walnuts but are much sweeter in flavor. Because of their oily composition though, pecans can become rancid very quickly in warm temperatures and high humidity. Shelled pecans are best kept inside a glass container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.
The fats found in pecans are classified as monounsaturated and are recommended for the maintenance of a healthy heart. The nuts are also rich in Vitamin E and the mineral zinc. Pecans actually provide nearly 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for zinc and one ounce of pecans provides 10% of the recommended daily fiber intake.
Pecans are so popular in Texas that the pecan tree was declared its state tree in 1919. Butter pecan, a popular ice cream flavor, is a Texas invention.
Pecan trees usually range in height from 70 to 100 feet, but some trees grow as tall as 150 feet or higher. Native pecan trees – those over 150 years old – have trunks more than three feet in diameter.
Before a shelled pecan is ready to be sold, it must first be cleaned, sized, sterilized, cracked and finally, shelled.
The name “pecan” is a Native American word that was used to describe nuts requiring a stone to crack.
About 78 pecans are used in the average pecan pie.