Who sings the finest song – robin or blackbird? February has been a grey month with just occasional, but very welcome, glimpses of sunlight on a few days. As I write, heavy rain batters the window pane. Maybe you’re thankful that February is the shortest month and that we now move into March – and spring!

Birds, it seems, are undaunted by fog, rain and grey skies. Their dawn chorus has woken me as early as 4.30 some mornings in recent days. Robin, blackbird, song thrush and all manner of finches compete to sing the best song at full volume. Their joie de vivre seems to rise above circumstances.

As snowdrops fade and daffodils dance in the breeze, we can look up to see signs of early blossom about to burst on the trees. Look down and see daisies as they push up through pale winter grass. All around there are signs of spring’s arrival. If your human circumstances make you question, “Why?” or “When?” or “What next?” you’ll identify with the plaintive poems of Lamentations. Despair, though real, isn’t the end. “Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.”

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