Friday, February 3, 2012

Daphne Life

It’s the dead of winter. Flower beds are forlorn and forgotten, trees are stripped to skeleton sticks and the landscape is zipped up in a winter coat of frost. The garden has a cold shiver to it that seems to have snatched away all movement and stilled any life among things green.

Is anything even alive out there? Can this garden live again?

At first glance, it seems impossible that anything could grow, and yet, in my father’s garden, a burst of flowers has appeared. A wintery bouquet has come to life, sporting a creamy pink blush and a fragrance that envelopes, surrounds and chases you down in the garden. There’s no escape from its permeating presence. It wraps itself around everything in the garden and seems to shout out loud, “I’m flourishing! I’m alive!”

New life has come into what appeared to be dead.

If you inhale the heady aroma of a daphne odora in full bloom in the cold depths of February, it will take your breath away and make you believe in miracles again. You’ll realize that new life can come out of things that look as if they’re all dried up.

Perhaps you’re walking through a dead of winter season with only dry bones on the landscape of your life. If so, let this daphne bush, that flowers and flourishes in winter, encourage you to remember that new life can be breathed into the most barren of landscapes. It’s a truth echoed in a story found in Ezekiel 37. Take a moment to read it and you’ll find new life being breathed into your circumstances. It will make you want to jump up and shout to the “dry bones” in your life to “Live again!”

“I’ll breathe new life into you and you’ll live” Ezekiel 37:14

P.S. A special thanks to my father, Clarence Skinner, for his photograph of the fragrant daphne blooming in his garden February.