Symbols of Hope
Quietly resilient, these hardy flowers can be seen in abundance at the Bield just now, in all their glory. They brought me hope during winter, their quiet resilience seemed especially poignant this year, perhaps more than ever, these tiny snowdrops were a most welcome sight. It seems that every day the carpet of beautiful white delicate flowers grows thicker, and spreads further than I remembered it from the day before!
The snowdrop, familiar as they are, is not one of our native flowers but, in fact, comes from mainland Europe, not arriving in Scotland until the 18th century. Yet like so many immigrants it put down strong roots, becoming immortalised by Robert Burns in his poem The Parting Kiss:
Humid seal of soft affections, Tenderest pledge of future bliss, Dearest tie of young connections, Love's first snowdrop, virgin kiss!
Snowdrops mark the first sign of spring emerging through the frozen soil. Rich in both pollen and nectar they are a lifeline to early insects. These pretty little flowers may appear delicate, but snowdrops are strong and resilient, overcoming the harsh winter to be among the first flowers to bloom.
For this reason, The Snowdrop Project was named after them. Founded on the values and vision of Jesus who went to those who were marginalised and in need to bring comfort and restoration, the Snowdrop Project provides holistic, long-term support to survivors of trafficking, to recover from their past, have hope for their future and reach a place of independence. They believe that no person should be left isolated or vulnerable to exploitation and are committed to demonstrating real compassion to the people and communities. One of the survivors they helped wrote
“You will never again see us cower or whimper, for we are the snowdrops that survived our harshest winter." - Extract from a poem by Maya”.
I invite you to spend some time with a snowdrop or two, perhaps even draw one? And think about the hope and promise that faith in God brings during these dark times…
Into the dark world
A snowdrop comes,
A blessing of hope and peace
Carrying within it a green heart:
Symbol of God’s renewing love.
Come to inhabit our darkness, Lord Christ,
For dark and light are alike to you.
May nature’s white candles of hope
Remind us of your birth
And lighten our journey
Through Lent and beyond