For a few weeks each year, typically between late January and early March, Israel comes into bloom. Almond trees blossom, reminding us that the Lord is watching over His word to fulfil it (Jeremiah 1:11-12). Hedgerows, fields, woodlands, gardens, everywhere flowers can grow are suddenly refreshed and glowing with colours. Israelis, seeking to make the most of this rare opportunity, are out savouring the goodness of the Lord, demonstrated in this transformation of His natural creation. Favoured spots around the land are magnets for people who, for 10 months of the year, are relatively colour-starved.
At Lupin Hill, a few miles outside Jerusalem, a pretty, but otherwise inconspicuous spot is transformed during this time, first, by the intense blue of millions of flowers popping up in a small area, and second, by hundreds of carloads of people on their pilgrimage to get an annual "fix" of this natural beauty.
Many love the land of Israel. Many even describe the land as beautiful. God has chosen this land and in this chosen-ness there is certainly a special beauty. Yet for much of the year the beauty is rather a stark, brown, dry variety of beauty. For those brought up in "England's green and pleasant land", Israel's beauty can be a little hard to believe in! However, in springtime the Lord graces His land with a measure of gorgeous colour and green. The locals drink in their fill of this in order, like camels drinking before their trek through the desert, to sustain us for the long, dry, brown year ahead.