About the Spring Collection
After months on end of gray day
after grey day, and every possible variety of rain
you'd think I would be happy to see the sun.
But there's an uneasy restlessness, an unsettled-ness
in me that I can't seem to shake.
Yard working, bike-riding, hiking, picnicking, basking --
everyone else seems to know what to do on this sparkly day.
I feel lost, anxious, caught off guard,
as if I'm missing an opportunity, but I don't know what it is.
I walk the neighborhood, try to cheer myself up,
and in the budding trees, the blooming flowers, the growing grass
I find the source of my discontent.
It's a time of becoming, rebirthing, growing, changing
and like each tree, flower, and blade of grass
I am being called to come back in a new way,
to emerge from the darkness and quiet of winter
into the next stage of my own evolution.
Part of me resists, unsure of what that looks like,
afraid of what it might mean.
The wind whispers a reminder:
A tree doesn't worry about what is expected of it next;
A flower doesn't question whether it has resources enough to bloom;
A blade of grass doesn't wonder if it's the right shade of green.
They simply keep reaching out
to the One who created them,
their being-ness an example
to those of us willing to learn.
* * * * * * * * * *
I think I've always had a somewhat tortured relationship with the change of season from winter to spring, but I've only recently been able to really articulate what it's about.
I love spring. And I don't. I'm completely enchanted by blossoming blossoms and growing grass and fragrant flowers. At the same time, spring inspires in me a sense of loss and being lost that makes it difficult to find my rhythm with the season.
I feel like spring wants something from me, and there are parts of me that just don't want to give it. My inner contemplative wants to cling to darkness. My inner wallflower wants to stay hidden under layers of fleece. My inner hermit wants to stay inside. Spring asks those parts to stand down, to give their counterparts a chance to come out and play, to be in the world, to shine.
I wrote the poem above a year ago. Since then I have, in many ways, embraced the kind of change and growth that spring is all about. I've taken risks, challenged myself, and emerged with a new willingness to be seen. I've done it in a way that honors the parts of me that resist, without letting them hold me back.
So I have to say, I was a little surprised when I started feeling edgy and unsettled and out of sorts again this spring. Last year I put words to it, I figured it out. I responded and moved past it, right?
I'm a different person than I was a year ago, so now God's calling me to grow from this place, a brand new edge filled with brand new possibility and potential...and uncertainty.
Like last year and every spring before it, I don't know what's next. So I can welcome or resist the change that's in the air. I can worry about what's ahead or I can look back and recognize that I'm still connected to the same thread that brought me here, and trust myself to keep following it.
And even though I will likely never feel the affinity for spring that I do for fall, I can choose -- in every season -- to participate fully in my own inevitable evolution.
* * * * * * * * * *
The simple, fantastic beauty of ordinary things growing -- marsh-marigolds, dandelions, thistles and grass. -- Patrick Kavanagh