Every morning, I see that more blades of grass have pushed against the hard crust of dirt overnight, casting aside the lids of their temporary coffins. Tiny buds, like goosebumps on the arms of trees, begin to blossom, turning the trees into seas of white or pink or purple. Daffodils laugh as their bright yellow trumpets dance.
Once again, spring stubbornly thrusts itself upon the world, reading or not, transforming dull brown into a riot of color. The blades and blooms rise, as they do every spring, and my spirits rise with them. Against all odds, life returns.
Every sense comes alive again with spring. I hear the buzz of bees working tirelessly to gather pollen. Songbirds trill their melodies. The perfume of flowers hangs heavy in the air. I feel the breeze whisper against my face.
This winter has been especially long and difficult for me. Grief does that. Caregiving does that, too. The war in Ukraine reminds me how frail the world is. At times, it felt like winter would never end. Like spring would never come.
We had my Dad’s memorial service on March 20. It was beautiful, honest, and honoring. We remembered his life—deeply flawed but deeply loved. After it ended, I thought about Mom being safe and well-loved in her new home. I realized I’m ready to return to life again.
Slowly, I’ve been shaking off the gloom of winter and taking my first steps back into the world, testing to see if my new freedom is real. Steve and I took a road trip to the far western corner of our state last weekend. And there were no emergency phone caregiving calls. I was uncertain we could really get away, but we did. And it was glorious.
I imagine the blooms and blades with the same apprehension. Their heads appear on the surface, eager to be greeted by the sun’s caress. Even the soft rain feels nourishing. But sometimes the high winds blast or the bitter cold reminds them winter still has another hurrah left.
There are times I prefer the cold, when gloomy days feel right. All I want to do is sit in my window seat with my fuzzy afghan, a good book, and a cup of hot cocoa. To be quiet. To think and remember, alone. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it can be therapeutic.
Some seasons are like that. Hibernation has a purpose. There are times we need to turn inward for our own survival.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
But we aren’t meant to stay hidden away. At some point, it’s time to get up and take the next step. Nobody can tell you when it’s your time. Only you know that. I know my time is now. Whenever I do return to the world, I am always glad.
Spring can be invigorating. It marks the end of one season, the beginning of another.
The spring weather beckons me outside. To a world filled with hope. One brimming with life. A world of triumph over the dark and dreary.
In just ten days, we will remember when the bleakest winter ever gave way to the greatest hope. To life reborn, made more joyful because of the darkness. To the most victorious triumph over the grave.