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Hardy harbingers of spring: Spring 2012

Yellow is one of the first colors of spring here at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Bright and bouncy daffodils dot gardens and spring up in the middle of ravines and lawns. Yellow crocus dot tended gardens, small areas in our cemetery and the edges of some of our woodlands.

Brilliant yellow crocus are blooming in front of Corbe House where I live with four other sisters — delighting all of us on a daily basis.

These hardy harbingers of spring remind me of the Thomas Merton poem titled “A Song for Nobody.” Doesn’t sound promising, does it? Yet listen to the first two verses:

A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
For nobody.

A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
By itself.

These lovely images evoke in me a feeling of deep gratitude for each tiny yellow flower so able to be itself and sing without words — because that and only that is the purpose Holy Mystery designed for it. The tiny piece of beauty would sing with or without an audience for that is its destiny, its reason for being.

The song of the crocus amazes and delights me and is pure blessing. Their amazing capacity to bloom in frost and snow instructs me — should I allow that. They appear in our Indiana home just as we tire of the dreariness of winter and make our Lenten journey toward Easter. They give me hope and help me remember that Life, that Providence will prevail.

The recent devastating and deadly tornadoes that leveled cities in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky test this hope and belief in Providence, in Life. At least they have tested mine.

On the other hand the immediate and generous response of so many affirms that, like the yellow crocus, most of us know that Holy Mystery created us to be for one another, to be one another’s lifelines in times of distress and in times of joy.

Like the yellow crocus, each of us sings a song of hope and compassion “without a word.” Perhaps we sing “for nobody” just because compassion is who we are or hope to be more and more.

Like the tiny crocus may each of us strive to be aware of the gift of life that surges through us and prompts us to sing the song composed by Providence for each of us. May we sing in praise, in hope, in love. May we too know that we are “light and spirit.”

I hope that, somewhere on your part of Earth, a yellow flower blooms!
Know that you and all you love are held in the friendship and prayer of the Sisters of Providence.

Sister Denise Wilkinson
General Superior

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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