Emerging into openness

Photo taken this morning
Last Monday I wrote about living an open-hearted yes to God (here), inspired by the fact that our horribly cold spring has meant our magnolia buds were still well and truly closed. The following day, someone in the USA (where this spring might well be more springlike) wrote on Facebook about how April derives from a word meaning open. Of course, I thought - it's obvious! Aperire, the Latin verb "to open", would be a natural choice in the northern hemisphere to describe a month when (most years!) nature begins to open and bask in sunshine and mild temperatures. In fact, in Italian, aprire (to open) and aprile (April) are so alike as to be almost interchangeable!

And slowly, tentatively, that is what is now happening. A month later than usual, we have blossoms and buds and birdsong. Our magnolia buds are still small, but they've started to open, pale rosy petals emerging from their protective husks. Maybe because I've been keeping such an anxious eye on them I'm so aware of their smallness, their fragility, their vulnerability to the sudden frost or storm which could still strike. They are a daily reminder of just how frail and defenceless we can be when we're truly open, and also just how emerging-ly, growthfully beautiful that whole process can be.