Spring: The Hint of Eternity
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. – John 6:47
God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins
There is a truth hinted at
In the new green shoot—
In the lovely delicacy
That scents the morning air
In a grove of flowering cherry trees—
In each dawn’s earlier arrival—
And each eve’s ever-later departure.
In Spring, all of Nature hints at Eternity.
Winter’s deathly grip is defeated
Each and every passing year
By vibrant, burgeoning Spring.
As the poet so prayerfully writes,
“And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness
Deep down things.” *
So, Death, though you come for all,
You are as nothing,
For there is no Eternity in you.
There is the ancient Spring story
We have all known so dearly,
That at the end of His labors,
After He had infused all creation
With the impetus of Eternal Spring,
The Creator, finally, and tenderly,
Bends over a piece of clay
He had molded with His own hands
And breathes His own Eternity into it.
This is the truth hidden
In the very heart of Spring.
And that great MIracle,
That truth at the heart of Spring,
Breathes in the soul of every human being.
For at the moment of our beginnings—
In the solitude and silence
Of that most sacred
And most secret of places—
Our mother’s wombs—
In that purposeful, intimate
And tender moment of our conception—
We, too, are made creatures of His Eternity.
And though we often fall from Eternity’s grace
Eternity does not abandon us.
Though, in our unguarded moments,
We bend to your temptations, Death,
Entering, briefly, your kingdom of finite time—
And though you wear us down—
And weaken us with the weight of time—
Life, the Eternal Spring,
Still breathes within us,
And cannot be overthrown.
So, Death, be not proud.
Your powers are only a pretense in time,
You are as nothing, for you have only
Steadily unwinding Time at your core.
You are a charlatan,
A mere creature of Irony.
You are the only thing
In all of space, and all of time,
That has no Eternity in you.
For, you see, Death,
Jesus, the Heart of Spring,
The living Breath of God,
The Word of Eternal Life,
Has conquered you—