Every year, without fail, winter comes. In Northern Pennsylvania it is a sorrowful turn of seasonal events. Leaves descend to the ground, causing trees to go bare, naked without their lush coverings. The green grass starts to dull in color even before the first snowflake blankets the earth. The sky goes grey, casting shadows of gloomy chill on every window pane.
And then there are the birds. They don't linger in the falling temperatures. At the first sign of frost they take off for the warmth of the southern sun. A shortage of food supply and a lack of leafy green vegetation send the birds sailing off for bluer skies and friendly foliage. With them goes the beautiful music they share every morning and the visual beauty of their winged adventures. Their migratory departure creates a void that remains unoccupied all winter long.
Weeks turn into months and the silence becomes deafening. The combination of low level clouds, piles of snow and icy streets threaten all hopes of spring and the return of the beloved song bird. Why would they ever come back to such depressed conditions when they can stay where its warm and share their tunes down south?
And then, as if out of nowhere, daybreak brings a tweet and a twitter outside my shut-up window. At first I can hardly believe my ears. Could it be? Could the birds have returned?
The sun hasn't returned quite yet. The clouds still look grey. I am still pulling on my boots and buttoning up my coat to venture out into the cold yet the birds have reappeared.
Before the first bud is spotted on the barren rose bush or the first leaf breaks through on vacant trees, the birds know that a change is in the air and they return to announce the coming of the long awaited, highly anticipated spring.
With the tune performed by faithful feathered musicians comes the blessed proclamation of the renewal of the earth. The restoration of green grass, blue skies and warm air is under way. Hope is budding beneath the surface, on the cusp of springing into glorious, bountiful, beautiful life.
In the tune of the bird comes the promise of a future. In their song the proclamation that God is busy at work just beneath the surface, making all things new. Their music declares that God's work of renewal cannot and will not be thwarted. The faithful plans and purposes of the Lord will always overcome.
The birds are here, hallelujah, and they are signing the song that celebrates with hope and expectation, "Look, spring is coming!"