My favorite aromas are fresh baked bread, anything with cinnamon, a baby’s skin after a bath, and of course, lilacs and the blossoms of Spring.
The Hill upon which St. Olaf College is built, is strewn with lilacs in May. The scent is heavenly, and the impact is rampant lust and a passion to romp in the grass, play in the sun, and to somersault down Old Main Hill – the same place where we rode cafeteria trays down well whipped snow.
Wandering the St. Olaf campus in May is a heady experience. It is full of longings and yearnings and dreams of every size and shape and color. It is also ripe with a calm and contentment, a soul which is soaked in bliss, and an awareness that we are beloved and blessed beyond measure.
I've tried to find a walk which inspired me like those at St. Olaf in May, but almost fifty years later, it's simply an aroma, emotion and belief I cannot fully resurrect.
Still, Spring, wherever I may be, manages to arouse in me an itch, a wanting, and a hope for doing genuinely good things, being someone of significance and substance, and being fully present each day - dawn to dusk. Spring is the season which ignites my spirit, and opens my eyes and heart and mind to all the possibilities.
Lent is ultimately following Spring’s trail. We are following a spiritual pilgrimage which has taken us down some bleak barren and bumpy paths, or off course to dead-ends, or into places loaded with briars which can draw blood. Lent can be a real maze or obstacle course.
Eventually, however, the path begins to clear, it is better marked, and we relax and look up or to the side, not having to watch our step. As Lent winds its way to the spiritual finish line, we are enjoying our stroll, and taking in all the lovely vistas and aromas which challenge us to come back to Life.
By the time we near Easter, there is a hint in the air, a lilac call to skip, to rejoice, to become whole, to know that Life is good and so are we, and like each and every Spring – more than enough!
O, Lord of Lent, we do know when something stinks, and we know even better when something smells like Heaven. Amen.
Reverend William R. Grimbol has spent the past 30+ years helping people create and develop strong spiritual connections with loved ones and God. He is also a published author, with over a dozen books to his credit.