Blossoms, Joigny and heaven on Thursday

There is something indescribably beautiful and uplifting about spring, especially on a gloriously sunny day. There is a general greening, pale, turning to green-gold in sunshine; but there is also a whitening, even a frothy pinking, as trees proudly display branches - until recently bare and skeletal - now liberally covered in blossom.

It occurred to me the other day that we praise and rhapsodise over nature for simply doing... well, what comes naturally. It is perfectly natural and normal for trees to put forth leaves, buds and blossoms, just as it is natural for flowers to bloom at certain times and for birds to sing - usually for very prosaic, even urgent reasons a world apart from the carefree joyousness of their song. These birds, trees and flowers are simply being what they are, doing what they would normally do -  but, for the beholder, what we see and appreciate can be anything but mundane! 

And it's already forty days since Easter, when we celebrated and sang of the green blade rising from the buried grain... which means it's the original Ascension - though now commemorated on Sunday. And the Ascension is what came to mind yesterday, when I noticed this bit of treetop blossom, arms thrust joyously upward, seemingly ascending, wrapped in clouds, emerging from more clouds into the blue vastness above...

For RSCJ there's an added significance to today because our founder, St Madeleine Sophie, died on what was Ascension Thursday in 1865, thus leading to one biography being called Heaven on Thursday. As for me, today will not - hopefully!! - be about heaven on Thursday, but arriving, sometime this evening, in Joigny - Sophie's birthplace - on Thursday. Yes, I'm travelling to France, to spend some days with Sophie, to be at home with her in her home. And what better day to arrive in the home where she began her earthly life, than on Ascension Thursday, the day when she arrived at her eternal home in heaven..?