I love how, in May, the yellows of Spring give way to a cadence of white. I love the pollen fairies lilting like music on the breeze, dandelions catching the evening light and the sweet, soulful daisies that spring up everywhere.

On the river this week, white water flowers stood up on their stems as the water gurgled by amiably. The scent of recent rain and fresh growth, of grass and trees and earth, seemed a world away from the rending and pain of a bomb that stole lives away so suddenly amid the clamour of a city only a few hours drive away.

A Devon May is gentle, everything in its right time and place. But there is no right time or place for the grief and wanton violence of terrorism and hate. What is there to join these places, these times? The preciousness of it all, I think. There is the preciousness of time and season in our lives: who knows how many more summers I will live to see? There is – of course – the preciousness of hearts and souls, each one unique and deeply treasured. There is the preciousness of helping and caring, of pulling together. There is, also, the preciousness of hope.

The countryside teaches me that there is always hope. Those fairies on the breeze are really seeds. The river flows and the sun shines and crops grow. Even – no, especially – weeds are beautiful. Trees that were bare and barren only a few months ago are now leafy and lush.

Grief heals in part but will always be with us. The question is, will it teach us how to live? Loss can show us, bitter sweetly, what the important things in life really are.

What are our unique gifts to the world? How can we use them and share them every day? Which roles and dreams are we just made to fulfill? Who do we love and how can we show them? How can we live lives that sing of hope as loud and clear as those water lilies standing tall on their beautiful, fragile stems?

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