From Winter into Spring
I have known for a while now that when the seasons change so do our lives. And it’s not just about the foods we eat and the clothes we wear. It’s about how we feel as the temperatures rise or fall. It’s about how we embrace or resist the daylight or darkness. And it’s how we make the most of cooler evenings and cold nights by getting cozy or by basking in the warm mornings and hot days.
When each season changes, we are faced with not only “springing forward” an hour but also with allergens from all the trees, plants, and flowers springing back to life. As we “wake up” and shift from being bundled up indoors to spending more time outdoors, we notice other subtle changes. The house needs dusted. Our grocery list is evolving from pot roasts and stews to sandwiches and salads. And we’ve developed a desire to begin a fitness plan to reduce the unwanted weight gained over winter.
Some of us, like hubs, might even plant a spring garden or landscape the yard, adding flowers as we wait for our perennials to blossom again. And we might find ourselves, as I have twice already, changing out winter clothing from leggings and sweaters to that of halter tops and swimwear for warmer days ahead – clothing to reveal arms and legs which haven’t seen the light of day all winter.
Whatever we do as spring arrives, we feel it in the same ways – sun on our face, breeze in our hair, more time outdoors. And while some of us are content to stay in winter hibernation, many of us are ready for early morning and late evening walks again. Others are ready for salads instead of stews. And others of us are so ready for spring that we might even decide to give our home a fresh coat of paint. Okay, well, maybe not. But you get the idea. As seasons change, so do we.
We also feel spring arrive in very different ways, depending on our place or moment in life. We could be a child eager to start up outdoor sports again. Or a young mother excited for warmer temps as she takes her new infant with her on daily walks. Or we could be an outdoor worker glad not to be working in cold temps anymore but equally not looking forward to the warmer temps either. And we could be a retired secretary (yes, me) happy to be walking pups in warm temps and beautiful skies rather than the cold gray days of just a few weeks ago.
This year I found myself longing for spring as we experienced winter in a much different way than the past twenty years. Living in a dilapidated house with no central heat wasn’t terribly unbearable. But it did bring with it the challenge of planning ahead for certain activities and, basically, carrying a small space heater from room to room. As spring teased us with warmer days here and there, using the heater in the morning and late evening was still necessary, while beginning to rely on the A/C window units during the warmer part of the day was a lifesaver.
With the approach of spring this year, I started to ponder the changing of the seasons in a broader sense. Often, we read, in essays or poems, or writers comparing spring to our childhood, summer to our youth, fall or autumn to our middle age, and winter to our old age. I believe this analogy is at least a little bit lopsided though. Can you see me laughing? Well, you would if you could see how perplexed I am about how quickly I jumped from childhood into old age. Let me explain.
My paternal grandparents lived into their late nineties and my maternal grandmother to her early nineties. If I’m blessed with as many years as my grandparents, spring – for me – would be more than just childhood. It would extend through twenty-four years of age. Summer would take me through forty-eight years of age. Fall would have me still in my middle ages. And finally old age would begin once I reach seventy-two years of age.
Of course, this would be different for everyone, but it helps to know what season we might be in if we follow this comparison. To reverse this and say that our childhood is relative to spring would leave us with either a very short or long season of spring. Luckily, our seasons in nature are a quarter of a year and give us time to consider the changes of each – from new blossoms in spring to the falling of leaves in autumn. In regard to our own lives, I take most adages with a grain of salt, but this one has me mulling over the current segment of my life journey.
Now that I am where I’m at – just recently retired, I’m finally embracing the me that wanted to be a writer but wasn’t sure what to write about. I feel, in some ways, that I’m starting all over again, and yet I’m so much further along than when I first started out in clerical administration or as a writer. Whereas my goal was never to be a “seasoned expert” in the clerical field, I have been called a “jack of all trades” many times. And, in writing, rather than being a twenty-something novice and wondering what to write about, I’m instead now a “seasoned writer” with limitless topics to choose from.
As we come out of the season of winter into the warm days of spring, let’s consider where we are in our season of life. Whether we’re in our 20s, 40s, 60s, or 80s, let’s choose to embrace ourselves right where we’re at and acknowledge that right here in this moment is where we are meant to be. Let us look into the center of ourselves and examine how spring is affecting us by the new changes all around and in us.
With every new change, we are becoming better versions of ourselves. We are growing in the warmth of the sun, the fragrance of the garden, and the birds’ singing. Let us hold onto the knowledge that this season of spring is to be enjoyed right now while it lasts. As we know, nothing lasts forever. Every day is moving forward. Let us make the most of it and grab hold to what we need from it and be ready to embrace the next as well.
As we embrace this season of change, may it shower us with what we need most from it. May peace, rest, more time in nature, love and more connection, balance – all be ours today. Let us seek how this season of spring can help us to fulfill that longing which lives deep in each of us – the one which calls us to grow into our best selves. Let’s get outdoors, smile more often, walk, wave at others, and say hello. Let spring not just change, but transform, you into the person you are meant to be!
Stay tuned to this blog for future posts about our lives as we go from spring into summer, summer into fall, and maybe one day – fall into winter. Well, I’m not there yet, but hopefully I’ll be blessed with many more years of writing to inspire readers. What are you hoping to have more years of to accomplish?