Spring brings new life to nature–and thus to the rest of us. After a series of tough winter storms that have blanketed the midwest and east coast, lashed the south with ice storms and caused mudslides in the northwest, everyone is searching for spring. Everyone is eager to dive right in.
But a confession: I have been living in California for almost a year now and therefore did not experience the snow shoveling, frigid temperatures, near car collisions and exhausting commutes that many of you have. But for those of you who did, something is about to come upon you that I will miss–true, amazing, poking then blasting from the earth–spring!
I know many of you are waiting, and you know who you are–so get ready!
“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” Mark Twain. And you can’t wait to get outdoors and breathe it in–a perfume that no one can bottle, because it’s in the air and it’s inside you. Funny, I keep thinking of a patch of dirt by my driveway back in Iowa–and I’m picturing these green shoots pushing up from the earth–first crocus, then daffodils, then after a while, beebalm and bluebells.
And by the back deck the hydrangeas will slowly begin to flower and there will be sticks to rake up and leaves to remove, but if I were there, the sun would fall on my shoulders so that I really wouldn’t care.
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret Atwood from the Bluebeard’s Egg
And as the earth warms and the grass begins to green-up, the redbuds bloom and then the magnolias–spring rains will begin and the cycle of the seasons proceed like a well-remembered friend who has finally returned.
But even though spring might bring weather relief, other life issues might still be there, hanging around, causing pain. In fact the aching beauty of spring might make facing some family problem or an illness or a change in lifestyle even harder to bear. But here is another way to think about it:
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” Anne Bradstreet, Meditations Divine and Moral
And to share a little bit of advice and/or philosophy Deepak Chopra writes: There is a simple spiritual truth that I believe in deeply: the level of the solution is never found at the level of the problem. Knowing this, you can escape many traps that people fall into. What exists at the level of the problem? Repetitive thinking that gets nowhere. Old conditioning that keeps applying yesterday’s outworn choices. Lots of obsessive thinking and stalled action…But the relevant insight is that you have more than one level of awareness, and at a deeper level there is untapped creativity and insight.
I read those words and think about digging in the garden or taking a walk in a spring rain as a release. Insight and understanding will be born from a new vision, a new way of looking at and dealing with the problems you still face–whether it’s glorious spring or not. For more help read Chopra’s: The 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Things Go Wrong,
And as nature must tolerate freezing temperatures to spring once again into glorious new life, consider practicing David Schnarch PhD‘s Differentiation–the 4th maxim of which is: Tolerate discomfort for growth. It’s not easy, but over time, it works. Here are the other maxims on the list:
1. Clear sense of self in close proximity to important partner.
2. Self-regulate anxiety and self-soothe hurts.
3. Non-reactivity to partner’s anxieties.
Spring can be a time for rebirth, not only in nature, but in one’s intimate and personal life. So dive right in–I am wishing you warm winds and great peace.
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” AA Milne
Do you have a spring ritual to share, something that you can count on to lift your spirits?