A wide-open YES

A few weeks ago, on the 25th March, I wrote about the Annunciation on its "proper" day (here). It was a wintry, frosty day, and I wrote how our magnolia buds were still tightly furled in self-protection.  I expressed the somewhat forlorn hope that by the time we officially celebrated the Feast, spring might have arrived...

Well, that day has come, and it's just gone up to about 8 degrees, which is an improvement on zero, though nowhere near the double figures we should be basking in. Our magnolia buds are still as tight and tiny as before, though - whisper it softly - a couple have tentatively begun to open. By now they would normally be in full flower, the whole tree a vision of pale, glorious, sunlit beauty. Instead, this photo from last spring will have to suffice as today's feast-day homage.

There is something about an open, blossoming flower that speaks of whole-hearted, joyful openness. Traditional images of the Annunciation invariably showed Mary with clasped hands, but there is something within her generous, heartfelt Here I am! which calls for wide-open arms, to reflect a wide-open heart, and a wide-open YES. And as I anxiously watch our little magnolia buds take their first tentative steps into courageous openness, I pray for a wide-open YES for myself and all my sisters, and especially for all the people I know who are discerning their call in life. May we always be able to unfurl and un-protect ourselves, becoming wide-open to the adventures to which God calls us.