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Posts tagged ‘Spring’

Easter Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…

“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

Ice Out

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” – Napoleon Hill

“The tree
That wanted to be
A beautiful book
It would die
If that’s what it took…” – Butterfly Boucher

Thin ice remains on the shore as the middle gives way to open, cold, deep water. The transformation from winter to spring almost complete. As winter and spring dance, transitioning who leads, a mix of cold and warm, dry and wet will bring us into April. The rain softens and greens the grass. Spring is certain. Winter returning in eight months is certain as well. The dance continues, steps in sync, choregraphed by the Author of Life.

Seasons, cycles, transitions, change are certain. Transformation, growth and transcendence are a choice, a decision. We can remain on the surface, on thin ice, in the hardness of winter or give way to spring, to dance, to deep waters.

The journey is not to foreign lands beyond but within to unfold, unwind and peal the layers to reveal our authentic self. It calls for letting go, dying to old self, releasing what was to be on its own to fully embrace what is while anticipating the fruit that comes with time, sun and rain. Take the journey.

“Well everything’s
Full of dreams for one thing…
And everything’s
Full of dreams for reasons…
And everything’s
Full of dreams for one thing…
So keep dreaming” – Butterfly Boucher

Rain Jacket

“Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” – John Updike

Against my natural instinct to not go out in the rain, I put on a rain jacket to get the girls for an end of day walk after another meeting-packed day. My last meeting yesterday was with a client who I’ve worked with for 12-years who is merging with another organization, so it was my last meeting with them. It was another good-bye. This has been a year filled with good-byes – of people, of activities we enjoy doing, of “normal” living.

Life often feels like series of good-byes and transitions. Our natural instinct is to avoid, run and hide from them like going into the rain. If we live well, we weave experiences, places and people through our fiber. They become a part of us so when things change, a piece of us is carved out of our being and we are never the same. But that is not the end of the story.

On the other side of good-byes are fresh hellos and adventures waiting to be entered when we cross the threshold of what has been to what is next. If we keep looking backwards, we miss what’s already present and what the past has prepared us for in new paths to explore. Life is a year-round classroom. We decide if we are going to learn and grow or do just enough to get a C+ by coasting unaware, stuck and dry in sameness.

Endings and beginnings are a package deal. If we allow, we concurrently enter the depth of departure and embrace the anticipation of new adventures. As a door closes, it prompts the next door to open. Often, it disguises itself as rain, so put on your rain jacket and get out into the rain, crossing the threshold to abundance and light.

The Dance

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” – John Burroughs

“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”– John Muir

The spring and winter dance begins as the seasons trade places. Mother Nature reminded us yesterday that winter is not done yet with 6-8 inches of snow. This snow is different because we’ve seen the other side and lingered in it. The lakes have opened, the grass is softening and the falls are breaking free from ice.

The dance of transition leads to the gift of transformation, if we invite and allow.

“The fall of dropping water wears away the Stone.” – Lucretius

Openings

“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 Thaw

“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

Was, Is and Coming

“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.
Open them.
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

Palm Sunday 2020

“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.” – William Penn

As we enter this Holy Week from Palm Sunday to Good Friday to Easter, this Lent 2020 will be one to be remembered forever as we’ve walked it out through the bearing of our own crosses of a worldwide pandemic. Fear, uncertainty, stress, boredom, “unprecedented times” for our time at least.

I’d like to say that I’ve spent the last 40 days studying the Bible, in hours of praying the rosary. I haven’t. But I have felt God’s presence daily rather than just on Sunday’s for an hour. Much of the time has been spent reflecting on me and my life to now and where it should be, in dozens of meetings to keep work going and planning for the other side, clearing clutter and preparing the house for painting so new floors can be installed and getting outside a lot with the dogs. In sum, the past days have been about me and the impact of COVID-19 on my life and those who I love.

Self-reflection is the point of Lent. To look within, take inventory, be quiet, reflect, repent, forgive, embrace and prepare for the third day of resurrection, of becoming a new person, our best self that already exists and is being called out to play and stay. The “end-game” of Lent is to die to self and to accept the grace and mercy of the cross, of resurrection and new life. To let go of old ways, to strengthen our compassion, forgiveness and empathy muscles to flex them with the world like never before. To realize that we are and always have been held and carried by God. In carrying our own crosses, we get but a glimpse of what Jesus accomplished and offered up by dying on the cross for us. Now that’s really living out Lent.

This Lent has been our own collective invitation to enter silence, let go of fear and control, to change our priorities, to love deeper and hug longer. In boredom, in struggle, in loneliness, in the desert, we are being transformed, the cocoon to butterfly, the seed to bloom, from thirst to hydration. And just as winter always turns to spring, Lent always turns to Easter. Resurrection, changed, new and never to return to our old selves. Muted colors become brilliant. Flowers more fragrant. Gratitude for what already is within us deepened.

This has been a holy, sacred season. Reflect on the lessons during this Holy Week, read the passion of Christ – from the last supper, to 30 silver coins, to being denied by his best friend three times followed by the cock crowing, to the agony of being nailed to a cross. And 3 days later, the stone rolled away from the tomb to resurrection. We are truly living out Lent this year on this journey. And as we grieve the dying to our old self, prepare to be overwhelmed with the transformation to who we are meant to be – Easter people, filled with hope, love, trust, joy and faith.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

“Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart.” – St. Therese’ of Lisieux

“We give glory to You, Lord, who raised up Your cross to span the jaws of death like a bridge by which souls might pass from the region of the dead to the land of the living. We give glory to You who put on the body of a single mortal man and made it the source of life for every other mortal man.” – St. Ephrem of Edessa

Spring Confetti

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’”— Robin Williams

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”— Gertrude S. Wister

It always takes longer than we want, but the snow always melts. Winter releases into spring inviting the flowers to awaken and work their way through the frozen ground. With a slow and steady thaw, the gifts of spring unfold and ensue. Suddenly the birds are singing with glee and nature awakens to a new season inviting us to join the party. Winter bids adieu making way for spring to make its long anticipated entrance.

Many gifts appeared for the girls this week as the sun did it’s work on the thaw revealing a few dozen balls, bones and toys trapped by the grip of last bit of ice. A bouquet of balls and confetti celebration welcoming long days ahead to soak up the sun, chase balls and delight in outside endeavors.

We can even enjoy winter while going through when we trust that spring always awaits our arrival in due time, filled with the promise of transformation and celebration of fruition. Winter builds resilience, spring is the reward. Let’s party.

Easter Anticipation

“See the land, her Easter keeping, Rises as her Maker rose. Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping, Burst at last from winter snows. Earth with heaven above rejoices…”  – Charles Kingsley

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” —Harriet Ann Jacobs

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” —Harriet Ann Jacobs

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