With wings of drifted snow...

The Angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame...

These words from an old Christmas carol came to me on Saturday, as I watched the snow drift through the air, and ruefully considered the season. The 23rd of March... only two days before the Annunciation, and instead of birdsong and spring blossoms we have freezing winds and snow! Nature is just as confused as the rest of us: snowdrops are still valiantly blooming, evidently convinced it's still January, while our magnolia buds are still tightly furled and looking unlikely to start blossoming soon. Those flowers which have been brave enough to start flowering provide welcome colour and hope, even while they shiver under snow and frost.

The litugical season is equally confused and confusing: an early Easter means that, as it's now Holy Week we won't officially celebrate the Annunciation until sometime in April. By which time, hopefully, spring will have sprung and the only drifted snow will be Gabriel's wings!

But even though it's Holy Week it is still the 25th, and a good opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for Mary's unconditional YES to God's call, as made known to her by Gabriel. A yes which continues to bring colour and hope into our grey world. And a reminder to pray for ourselves, and for all those we know who are discerning and discovering their own unique call, for the courage and grace to say yes, with all our hearts, and the faith to step with God into the unknown.