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In support of low-rise

St Johns Southgate

13 Sep 2015

It has been a long and hard winter here in Melbourne. Just about everyone I’ve spoken to has been struck down at least once by some kind of bug – flu shot or no flu shot.

I am writing this article from my sick bed. So it’s with some relief that the pages of the calendar have been flipped over to September. It’s finally spring! As I look out my window the beams of sunshine lighting up the apple blossoms, the sound of chirping birds and even the hapless pedestrian being swooped by a magpie give a sense of new hope, new possibilities and even new life.

Coming out of the dark and cold of winter into the light and warmth of spring has been fodder for poets throughout the ages, and for good reason. The change of seasons as used in metaphor immediately taps into something we can understand – reversal of fortunes, a shift in experience, attitude or perspective.

At St Johns recently, on the last Sunday of winter, one of our readings came from Song of Solomon, a portion of which reads as follows:   

My beloved spoke and said to me,

“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.

The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.

Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”

This most intoxicating love song of the bible expresses that shift from the doom and gloom of winter to the joy of springtime love. Spring isn’t just a time of fragrance and flowers, it can also be a time of human renewal. New lighting and changing surrounds enable us to see the world and our fellow sojourners with new eyes.

This spring, as we awake from the weariness of our winter colds, what are we going to open our eyes to as individuals and as a community? What will see differently now the rain is gone? Will we lift our eyes to admire attractive figures as a few layers of clothing are shed? Undoubtedly! But might we also look to those who remain in darkness, whose winter of discontent or distress continues despite the change of seasons?

The dawn of spring can remind us that for some the weather is only getting colder. For every sunny day there is a deep freeze we know little or nothing about.

September 10 was R U OK day – an opportunity at the beginning of spring to be mindful that some are still shivering in the cold. Having R U OK day at the turn of the seasons is most appropriate. Take the time this spring to look out for those who seem to have less than a spring in their step. Because for every person there is always hope, new possibilities and even newness of life waiting around the corner. 13 11 14

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