“A flower does not use words to announce its arrival to the world; it just blooms.”― Matshona Dhliwayo
“We are asleep with compasses in our hands.” – W.S. Merwin
The lilacs bloomed with luster and brilliance
A showstopping, sweet first act to welcome spring in all of its rapture, color and promise
A short but worthy season
As one bloom ends, the next bloom is cued to stage to usher spring into summer
Inviting us into the circles, seasons and flow of life
A short but worthy season
Not to be missed by looking back or too far ahead
Remain in the moment of whatever is blooming now
Assured that the next bloom is being cued to take center stage
Just on time, never too late
A short but worthy season
Awaken to the compass in your hands, heart, soul and spirit
“All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Heavy soothing long rain pushes past the surface, deep into the soil bound for the roots. The brilliant greening comes from the rain and sun dancing, each doing its part, incomplete without both.
We want springs without winters, growth without struggle, smooth sailing without wind, roads without detours, green and flowers without rain. In the burdens, we find the blessings. In the blessings, we find the gratitude. In the rain, we awaken to the green.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Lie down in green pastures, sit by still waters, restore your soul, your cup overflows. Goodness, mercy, grace.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell
“And why, you may ask, spend precious time searching for something as elusive as a soul? Why not leave it where it hides—near to us, yet so difficult to find and sometimes dangerous to follow? There are two reasons: First, you search for the soul for the sake of your own life—for purpose, for meaning, for strength, for freedom and peace and love. Second, you search for your soul for the sake of everyone else. You do it for your family, your children, your coworkers, the whole world. The world needs your originality, your ideas, your humor, your creations. All of this is alive and well within you, hiding somewhere near you, beneath the layers, down, down, down, into the soul.” — Marrow: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser
We forego the everlasting gift of Easter Sunday, if we neglect to carry it forward into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…and each day going forward. Not just a drive-by holiday, the story of the Cross to resurrection is life-changing, world-changing.
That relief and lightness that people are feeling about getting the vaccine after going through year of a pandemic is but a glimpse of what Easter living offers, present in each day beyond frustrations, fleeting feelings and what the world says is true. That lightness will pass as we resume “normal” whatever that may be. We’ll replace it with the next worry, the next dilemma. It’s exhausting. The eternal light of God was, is and always will remain true and available to all freely, no matter what humans say, do, deny or pursue, thinking it can be found somewhere else. Somewhere else is here on Easter Monday.
To get to here, there is a lot of letting go of resentment, anger, unforgiveness, opinion, judgment, assumptions that shape our life and steal our joy, wonder and awe.
No one makes the decision but you so if you are all good, riding high and where you want to be, carry on, you’ve figured it out. If you’re struggling, searching and unsatisfied, Easter Monday is here and will remain no matter your choice. Consider your options. It is up to you.
“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Such lovely warmth of thought and delicacy of colour are beyond all praise, and equally beyond all thanks!” – Marie Corelli
“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle
The ice melts from the edges to the center, slowly and with certainty;
With warmth and light, the hardness dissipates into its natural fluid state;
In seasons, cycles and transitions, the hard center holds on longer;
Softening with patience, the edges move to the center bit by bit to break the full surface into the shape of water;
We break open from cracks that allow light in to soften the hardness borne of experience and time;
Allow the cracks to become openings to transform ice to water, rocks to sand;
Soften your heart, uncover your soul and release your spirit;
In the midst of the moment and depths of being, breaking becomes transformation, blessings bloom along side burdens;
We are not our burdens or blessings, we are vessels that carry them;
Separate being from doing;
Detach from effort and outcomes;
Let go of hardness and allow softening;
Let the melt of seasons happen;
Embrace, integrate and continue on;
Openings that transform ice into water.
“Change, when it comes, cracks everything open.” – Dorothy Allison
“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” – Doug Larson
“Welcome, wild harbinger of spring! To this small nook of earth; Feeling and fancy fondly cling, Round thoughts which owe their birth, To thee, and to the humble spot, Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.” – Bernard Barton
Three weeks ago, 30 below, today, 60 degrees, a 90-degree swing. We are entering spring thaw and the grass will soon overtake the snow covered ground. Snow will probably revisit a few more times at least, but it won’t remain as long with the strength of the sun and full onset of spring. In 2018, we were hit with 16 inches of snow on April 13, reminding us that winter will be done when it decides it is done, not when we want it to be.
“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” – George Santayana
Nothing ever stays long but our perspective of it. What we remember, what we forget, what we pick up, what we set down determines the ease of our journey. When we only put the weight and magnitude on the minus 30 degree days, we forgo the depth, expanse and joy in the 60 degree days. Seasons of life never skip their turn so if we can find the gifts in what is present now, each day can be holy and sacred.
“I drank the silence of God from a spring in the woods.” – Georg Trakl
“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” – John Ruskin
“We were not sent into this world to do anything into which we cannot put our hearts.” ― John Ruskin
Over the past week, we’ve been enjoying 40-degree temperature days after two weeks of continuous -20 degree days. The paths at Como Lake were packed yesterday, people wearing shorts, lots of runners and walkers. We get out several times a week year-round and the paths during winter are wide-open, plenty of room to roam. As soon as a nice day hits, there are “traffic jams,” smiling crowds as attitudes shift from “winter angst” to “spring delight.” The weather has that much control over our outlook.
The only way to not only survive winter but to thrive in it is to get out right into the middle of it, finding and making joy in all seasons of life. Forgoing four months for winter or a year for a pandemic? I don’t get it and I don’t want to.
Life is happening regardless of weather, our circumstances and even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. It is certainly not our choice and it has been an unpredictable, uncertain, unprecedented year without a doubt. But we don’t get time back, so we need to treat it with the respect it deserves, honor it, make the best of each day.
Blessings and burdens coexist, always have and always will. Each day offers gifts even in and perhaps especially during difficult seasons if we choose to look, be open and accept them. For me, deep gratitude, joy and awareness of how, why, what, where and who I spend my time with has been the blessing this year.
We are placed where we need to be whether we understand it or not. In difficult times, in our winters, it is hard to understand. We are called deeper to meaning and purpose. Go beyond dismissing, mourning and lamenting to enter praise, gratitude and joy.
It’s February about to fall into March. It would be foolish to think that this swath of spring would remain, but winter is on its way out. Seasons come and go. Time has not stopped so follow suit and keep going.
Now, time to get out for some snowshoeing.
“It is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us.” – John Ruskin
“The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.” – Jean Giraudoux
“Music comes from an icicle as it melts, to live again as spring water.” – Henry Williamson
Spring is in the air, if only but for a moment. After two weeks of way below zero temperatures, we are getting two days of 40 degrees, a glimpse of the next season, a sneak preview in February. The slow melt of snow to water, ice to puddles, skating rinks returning to lakes. While the cold air of winter lingers, the sun and longer days take center stage to remind us of the certainty of seasons.
Glimpses, beams and threads are woven into the fabric of each day to pull us through winters, delays and desert time. Gifts of hope, inviting and guiding us beneath the surface of the obvious, beyond the oblivious and rush of mere activity into the deep waters of gratitude, grace and awe.
Examine, observe and absorb the sheer beauty in the petals of a flower, revealing complexity and simplicity in creation, in a single moment.
Winter is sure to return to finish its job, offering its final gifts of quiet preparation and dormancy to prepare for the emergence and awakening of spring bud and bloom. Open the gifts of each season, make each day holy with open arms and a grateful heart.
“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.” – Bernard Williams
“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” – Paul Theroux
Winter solstice was December 21st.
First day of spring is March 20th.
Light is coming out sooner and lingering longer.
In January, each day offers 90-120 seconds more daylight.
In February, 150 seconds each day as the sun moves higher with March approaching.
We are closer to spring as winter begins its finishing.
The small changes of each day are becoming noticeable.
Seconds turn to minutes, to hours, to days, to a lifetime.
In between “was” and “coming” is “is”
In the process of was and coming is living, progress unfolding in moments.
Do not lose “is” by remaining in “was” or moving too quickly into “coming.”
Each season offers its gifts.
Bask in the warmth of the light.
Grow in the patience of the dark.
“Is” is “it.”
Remain there, embracing the depth, grace and gratitude found in being fully present.
In light within and light surrounding each day.
“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” – Harriet Ann Jacobs
“I don’t believe in an outside agent that creates the world, then walks away. But I feel very strongly there is an intelligence at work in every flower, in every blade of grass, in every cell of my body. And it is that intelligence that, I wouldn’t say created the universe. It is creating the universe. It’s an ongoing process.” – Eckhart Tolle
“The end is the beginning of all things, Suppressed and hidden, Awaiting to be released through the rhythm Of pain and pleasure.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
With a long slow spring, I assumed that I’d be pulling a few dead shrubs in the front yard. And then suddenly and surely, the green popped from beneath and the old dead petals are weakening and falling off, saying good-bye. When we think it’s over, it’s really the beginning. Follow, embrace and hold to the seasons, cycles and rhythms. They remain whether we remember or not. They remain.
The buds, spring push through to take their place, to take the baton from winter and hibernation. We have a lot of spring and summer ahead. Let the light in, no questions asked.
Hope over fear.
Love over hate.
Joy over despair.
Light over darkness.
Peace over turmoil.
Kindness over spite.
Empathy over self.
Generosity over hoarding.
Ease over struggle.
Silence over noise.
Confidence over questioning.
Awe over indifference.
Deep over shallow.
Us over me.
Mystery over understanding.
Gratitude over complaint.
Rest over tumult.
Acceptance over shame.
Sweet over bitter.
Wonder over knowing.
Awake over sleep.
Slow over rushed.
Heaven over hell.
Present over past.
Present over future.
All is overcome today.
Resurrection over the Cross.
The playbook for living today already written.
The last word.
Knees to ground.