A version of this post first appeared in Christian Century's "Theolog."
It's spring, and Richmond is busting out in lush green. White pompoms of elderberry blossoms are bustling with bees. Hard new figs are attached impossibly to smooth branches, and my grape vine sports countless tiny clusters of lime green nubbins. The cats stretch out in the sunshine to doze. And on Fridays, the kids across the alley fire up their grill. My whole body breathes, with every sense, and exhales in well-being. The luscious smell of sizzling burgers, the hoo-hoo of doves, the heat (ah heat) of a southern, not-quite-summer sun, the tender crunch of sugar snap peas, and the riotous beauty of blood red teacup roses nestled among dripping white honeysuckle. With all five, physical senses buzzing, a sixth, the spiritual, shimmers. In spring, it seems perfectly right that the Bible would include a Song of Songs, also called the Song of Solomon.