Every October, as far back as I can remember, my family followed an odd tradition. While other families are putting out Halloween decorations and making their homes look spooky, my family would be digging in the dirt. That’s right, dirt. Time to plant bulbs for Spring.
When you’re a teenager spending time working outdoors planting in 50 degree, sometimes lower, cold windy weather doesn’t sound too exciting. Despite the grumbles and complaints, my Mom made sure those bulbs were planted and that my siblings and I helped. Hundreds of bulbs strategically buried for seemingly no reason.
Through the Winter holidays and those cold months that followed the arduous Fall planting was all but forgotten. Till that day would come, whether it was coming home from church or school, when I would notice a beautiful array of colors in our lawn. The tulips had bloomed.
My Mom, like any good parent, knew that all that effort and hard work, all of the suffering (her hearing our complaints mostly), and all of the dirt and sweat were worth what was to come. We would all need to see the tulips in the Spring. Their blooms a wonderful reminder of rebirth and hope.
For me, it is not at all a coincidence that tulips come around Easter. Easter is a time for us to reflect on not only the Atonement but Christ’s resurrection. “He is not here; for He is risen” (Matthew 28:6). The Resurrection also brings with it both a commandment and a promise. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20).
As the tulips bloom in Spring bringing the promise of a new beginning, so does the gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout our everyday lives it is at times easy to forget the gospel and it’s truths. Yet it is is always there, despite our shortcomings and trials. For some it is never forgotten, for others it comes as the tulips from my youth. It comes softly, subtly, and it brings the promise of hope and rebirth that only Christ can bring.
If you see me, as you are putting up your Halloween decor this October, digging in the dirt like a mad woman, please remember this. It is the hopeful reminder of Spring and rebirth that I am planting and an opportunity to ever so gently, as my own Mother did, teach of Christ.