I have been waiting for the weather to change for a long time. It doesn’t feel like Easter without witnessing the resurrection of those little purple flowers from beneath the earth. It doesn’t feel like Easter until the buds on the trees start to appear. It just doesn’t feel like Easter could happen if hints of spring have not crept into my consciousness.
But, it didn’t happen this year. It snowed. It sleeted. And then, just after we celebrated the glorious event of the Resurrection, it flooded. Many of us lost our power. The worst storm to strike Maine since 1998 arrived. Alleluia!
And then, something strange happened after the storm. While we waited for power to be restored and our heat to come back on, the weather shifted dramatically. It happened suddenly, didn’t it? It happened abruptly. As all of the snow finally melted away and we helped our neighbors bail out their basements, the sun came out. Not only did the sun came out, but the people came out. People appeared on the streets. On their front steps. On their porches. In creation. In God’s creation.
As I drove through Cape Elizabeth I saw them. And then I watched others from the porch of my apartment on Saturday night, while the crooning of the radio called from inside my apartment. On Saturday night, I often tune into the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, MN. I have never been to St. Paul, or even traveled to Minnesota. I don’t really have a connection to this place. That is, until I moved to Maine. Once I moved to Maine, my understanding of the humor and wisdom of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion became obvious. And so, I sat there listening to the News from Lake Wobegon, which concluded with Mr. Keillor remembered these words from an old friend: “I love this time early in summer when people are sitting outdoors, when it is still wonderful for them.”
And here I was sitting outdoors celebrating all that is still wonderful in our world – cherishing this new creation and this earth. I sat there on my porch this Saturday night and was reminded of the words God offered to Noah after that terrible flood so long ago: “I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth” (Genesis 9:13, NRSV). Peering through the rails of my porch, I did not see a rainbow. I did not see a bow in the clouds. But, I did see “every living creature” of “all future generations” enjoying the beauty of God’s creation when it is still wonderful for them. And I remembered that the storm had passed. The flood was over. And God had offered this beautiful day to remind us – “every living creature” of “all future generations” – that God has made a covenant with our earth and we are called to cherish it.