I walk around Cook Park, hoping to see a family of ducklings. We are greeted by three families of tiny fluffballs shooting through the water like torpedoes and their protective parents standing nearby.
I feel the hope of Spring. I see it in the ducklings snuggling up to their siblings and exploring their new world; I feel it in the warmth of the air, despite the unseasonal chill some days; I sense peace and growth too.
“Come with me into the woods. Where spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what, not being singular or particular, but one of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.”Mary Oliver
Spring doesn’t come overnight. It teases its presence in July and then a cold spell hits in August while Spring’s just warming up.
It starts in fresias lining the pathways and nights warm enough to throw off the blankets, with the comfort that Winter may be over for another year.
“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”Laura Ingalls Wilder
I see Spring, or perhaps the seasons, as a metaphor for the joy, renewal and blessings that come after loss or grief or pain of any kind. I’m also learning that these things don’t have to follow one after the other. Grief or sadness can live simultaneously beside gratitude or love (if Inside Out taught us anything). I am learning to accept the seasons of the mind but also the seasons of emotions that can come any moment. Waves of joy can be swiftly followed by discomfort or anxiety, and yet that is just to be human.
I feel the serenity and promise of Spring. While that’s not to say that’s every part of Spring, the warmth and new life envelope me and remind me to embrace every part of life and death, remaining curious, and living fully – not just in the Spring, as without the Winter, Spring wouldn’t seem full of promise. Without the Winter, how could we see such growth?
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”Audrey Hepburn
What if Spring isn’t just a season but a possibility within any moment or experience? Spring could be the feeling of a warm embrace of anxiety in the Winter and, rather than longing for Spring to come, it could be the push to get moving to sow seeds in Winter – especially the seeds of self-compassion, self-acceptance and love.