I’m waiting for my crocuses to bloom. It should be any day now. They are the first bloomers in my yard. I can always depend on them to make their appearance by the middle of March. Spring holds so much hope.
Saturday was a glorious day. Knowing we were nearing the end of the cold season, hope started rising up in me.
I walked outdoors. My sun kissed cheek lifted toward the sky. My eyes focused on the blue sky around the sun and I inhaled deeply finally breathing out a big sigh of relief. This winter-weary soul was ready to enjoy the 58 degree weather even if it was just for one day. The forecast revealed that It would turn cold again with snow flurries within 48 hours. I wasn’t going to let the day end without enjoying it.
I traded my walk on the treadmill for a nature walk and I was almost giddy with joy with each step that I took.
The trees are still bare, small piles of snow still litter the landscape but I could see grass and hear birds singing and that was enough to make me hopeful.
Even though not much is blooming or growing yet, I know that there’s something happening beneath the earth. In that darkness, bulbs are sprouting and getting ready to push their way through the ground. Acorns are turning into oak trees. Perennials are being nourished in the dark wet ground as their roots grow deeper. Preparations for the growing season are happening in places that we can’t see.
What appears to be dead is only resting, waiting and gaining more strength. Soon flowers will bloom. The brown grass will turn green. New birth; new growth will come again.
I think that’s why I love spring so much. It holds so much promise after a long winter.
Its similar to our Spiritual life after we go through a winter of the soul. It happens to all of us, in one way or another, in this broken world.
In the harshest of times when we’re in the wildernesses of a life experience, we can always be assured, though it’s dark and nothing seems to be growing, something is always happening.
In those dark places, just beneath the surface, that you and I cannot see, there is growth occurring and someday at just the right time it will sprout and we will notice it. Where there was once sadness, joy will return like a little seed growing in our soul. We may notice that we have more wisdom, courage, less fear, more faith, less negativism, more hope, less selfishness, more compassion … we are blooming in ways that couldn’t happen without the winter.
If we’ve prepared, cultivated, grown, bloomed, watered and nurtured the new growth, we may be surprised when the next winter of our soul appears. We may even ask the question, “How can something so cold and harsh happen again?”
Remembering that gardens know how to withstand harsh winters and that life is still growing under the snow is a helpful reminder that we too will survive another soul winter.
We’re always growing, becoming better but winter still comes to those flourishing places that we tended to in the past. Maybe lessons learned are growing deeper, roots are taking stronger hold, making us sturdier and stronger in our faith. We don’t see what is happening beneath the surface but something good is always happening in the winter.
Whatever the outcome, winter has its purpose and spring with all its new growth and flourishing always comes again.