I was helping my Dad clean up some bookshelves to prepare for a move when we found this old Mennonite hymnal that had belonged to my mother. Mom died in 2013. She was a talented pianist and organist. In her lifetime she played for literally hundreds of funerals, weddings, church services, choir concerts and music performances starting when she was a young girl and she would accompany her parents when they sang duets in the North Star Mennonite Church in Drake Saskatchewan. The cover and spine of my Mom’s hymnal were tattered and threadbare, a testament to its frequent use. On the flyleafs of the hymnal were long lists of hymns Mom had written down. She referred to these lists while playing a succession of pieces during preludes and postludes before and after weddings, funerals and church services and during the serving of communion. Mom had an amazing musical ear and will have played most of these from memory. One of the hymns she has listed is In the Bulb There is A Flower. It was one of Mom’s favourites and we sang it at her funeral. It talks about how nature teaches us there is new life just waiting to burst forth from seeds, cocoons, and bulbs and how in our own lives there is always the opportunity to explore, to hope, to believe in new and better things to come. When I was browsing Mom’s hymnal to pick the songs for a worship service I was leading, I found a leaf with a beautiful pattern of veins on the page of In the Bulb There is a Flower. Mom must have placed it there to press at some point. It was a lovely reminder of my mother’s appreciation for the lessons nature has to teach us.
In the bulb, there is a flower, in the seed an apple tree
In cocoons a hidden promise, butterflies will soon be free
In the cold and snow of winter, there’s a spring that waits to be
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see. – by Natalie Sleeth