Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The achingly-awaited arrival of spring in our area has been an interesting lesson in patience and letting go. The warm weather has inched forward into March with a creeping steadiness, and today's undeniable warmth and sunniness actually made my heart quicken like a teenager attending her first unchaperoned co-ed party. Weird.

The tulips in front of our friends' building have begun to poke up through the ground, and the twitterpated activities of squirrels, birds, and college students reminds me why we get so giddy around this season: rebirth.

We get to slough off the old and emerge into a brighter and sweeter-smelling world with less clothing, greater promise, and the limitless possibility of longer daylight hours and the thrumming pulse of "now, now, now" surging through every living thing around us.

And why shouldn't we awaken from the quiet, cold resting of winter to pounce with readiness onto the earth unfolding and flowering before us? There's something inherently natural in our lust to rush forward and crash upon the world.

Yet, the irony of spring also lies in our attachment to its fairytale-like magic. The thrill of rejuvenation and rebirth feels palpable and intoxicating... and so it is somewhat humbling to remember it is less connected to the sun or the season than to our willingness to embrace such feelings of awake and alive.

I noticed in myself today an incredible sense of yes. Of now and possibility and I will. And then I realized I could have accessed those feelings - that sense of promise and power - at any time. Why not awaken to such an alert sense in February? Why not imagine myself capable of all changes I might wish to make in a landscape of snow and ice and barren branches?

Prince Gautama Siddharta (the founder of Buddhism) said:

"In the sky; there is no distinction between east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true."

So it is with Winter. Spring. Autumn. Summer. We attach meaning and myth to the rhythms of our world... and while we are impacted by the natural living of the planet we inhabit, we are also capable of so much more.

May you spring forward with a sense of energy and renewal. May you remember to do so (again and again) at any time.

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