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The Goldfinches Return

[caption id="attachment_1781" align="alignright" width="200"]Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP[/caption] "Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land." (Song of Solomon 2:10-12)
In a blog I wrote last summer, I asked the question: do goldfinches tweet? How is it that they know to find the birdseed left for them in our backyard? I did not realize then that when winter comes, the male goldfinches lose their brilliant yellow color and their coats fade into a winter gray as a protection against predators. Now that Spring is exploding in our backyard again, the goldfinches are returning with their fabulous yellow feathers. I learned recently that (according to Mark Sibley, at "molt is the process of feather replacement. All birds do it; they have to grow new feathers once or twice a year to stay warm, dry, and airborne, [italics mine] and in many cases they grow differently colored feathers at different seasons to match their surroundings or to impress others of their species." It occurs to me that from time to time, I am being invited to a change in the color of my feathers. That is, I hear an invitation to drop old ways of being and put on new ones; to be willing to let go of one way of thinking and take on another new way. I feel like I have been doing that quite a bit lately. I used to think about some things one way and now, I feel called to think about them another way. Have you ever had that happen? Pope Francis sure seems to be calling us to it. In a nutshell he has been saying: don’t judge, have mercy, see the earth as your home. He seems to be calling us to change our feathers and I am feeling it. The molt is happening in me; I'm dropping the grey winter feathers and taking on the brighter ones. I feel "warm, dry and airborne." Everything seems brighter, the sun is warmer, the sky seems bluer and the crispness of the air is not a damp and chilly frost. It feels like Spring is springing up inside of me. I'm ready for something new, not sure what it is - but I feel open to the possibilities that springtime offers. I love that the Easter Season continues to proclaim our God as a Resurrection God. I much prefer God this way, a God of Spring, of new life, vitality and bloom. How is Spring "springing" in you? Is there something new on the horizon for you? Are you closer to realizing some new venture? Do you see the end of one path and the beginning of another? Do you sense some old feathers dropping off and new ones coming in? Are you molting? Do you notice the birds? Isn't God amazing?

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