Spring is a kind of wonderful, but funky time, full of excited anticipation, uncertainty and ...lumps. “Lumps” because they are the antithesis of every offered wish for a “smooth start” or “smooth transition”. And as a time of transition and new things, I’m convinced that spring is a lumpy season. It is nature’s time to begin again; and every year it takes us along on it’s dizzying, verdant, muddy stumble into summer. And every year, after the restlessness of winter, we celebrate this capricious season of change. Even with its random snowstorms, or heatwaves followed by days of rain, we joyfully await spring’s arrival. It wasn’t until I had a reason to really pay attention to our relationship with the seasons that I noticed this heartwarming thing about people and spring. Our nature revels in its imperfection. We see the beauty in the midst of the mess. We are inherently optimistic.
In this culture that has been marked by its apathy and desensitization, we still take notice of the flowers and the bees. We happy dance for blue skies and the return of green. We turn our faces towards the sun and smile. And it’s an important thing to remember when there is so much charged negativity floating across “the cloud”. Nature has a way of connecting us to our best selves and that’s the nuance of spring that I’ve had a hard time honing in on. Our best selves aren’t born out of perfectly, pleasing and consistent circumstances. We see it when we have to be flexible, when we’re responding to a challenge, expressing gratitude for small things; when we’re willing to dance through muddy beginnings, dig deep, and sow seed in the faith that something good will come of it. Our hope for (smooth) beginnings, our persistence and joy in spite of the inevitable lumpiness…this is what endears us to this season year after year.
Now to go just one step further, can we borrow that softness, that levity and gratitude, the faith that good things will grow, and shine it on ourselves and each other? I’ve watched how beautiful and surprising it is to see us respond this way to the natural world – and I think it’s easier to embrace imperfection outside of ourselves – but can we carry that innocent, springy love from the garden to the people? Because I think it’s something that gets easily lost among our pillars of productivity, accomplishment and efficiency. I lose sight of it for sure. We get busy and distracted by lists and goals and blah, blah, blah. But if nature – the actual earth – gets to have a lumpy beginning and "unsmooth" transition every year since creation, I think we can find a way to smile through our own and each other's. Don’t you?
Be well and happy spring everybody.