‘You stumble through your days,
got your head held low,
your skies a shade of grey.
But you can flip the switch and brighten up your darkest day
Sun is up and the color’s blinding
Take the world and redefine it
Leave behind your narrow mind
You’ll never be the same
And you know you can’t go back again
To the world that you were living in
‘Cause you’re dreaming with your eyes wide open
So come alive
Spring teaches me every year. Spring brings me alive again every year. The lessons from spring I need to carry over the next six, seven months and remember when it gets dark and gloomy and the sunshine is in short supply.
Winter is a struggle. I didn’t realise, or notice too much until a few years back. Perhaps it has only been a struggle since becoming a mother and enduring my own winter. The evening sun drops gently down in the sky, so softly and quietly you barely notice as the light begins to fade and the colours dim. And then you look up and notice- it’s dark. But perhaps you didn’t realise until that moment.
A light needs to be lit, illuminated in my soul at that point, to carry me through. Trudging through the day to day tasks which winter days consist of, bundling on costs and hats and braving the wet winds and icy biting snow. Retreating back into the warmth just before the light dims again for another short, short day. I begin to feel like I am in hibernation, cocooned away in the darkness but still having to get up, do another day and hope the light will return.
As little arrows of hope appear, budding on the trees, I remember that this doesn’t last forever. The gradual unfurling of new life on once sparse knobly branches reveal the truth- that they were never dead. Life lived on inside all along, just resting and waiting until the time was right. Growing secretly inside until the perfect time to bloom. The ground just needed to warm up again, the sunshine telling the world that it is time to wake up again.
Each year in the spring I come alive again. Breathing in gulping gasping lungfuls of fresh air, it’s as though I haven’t been outside for years. I breathe deep and slow, feeling the insides of me soften, knowing that the buds are beginning to unfurl.
We love flowers, I love flowers, they are beautiful. But they are but fleeting. So many parts of the Psalms highlight the fleeting nature of our human existence compared to God’s eternity with the illustration of wildflowers- here but for a short season. The flowers are beautiful- but that is not their only function. Their form attracts us, brings us hope and little rays of sunshine as we arrange them in vases and pick yellow sunny heads from cracks in the pavement. Their form also attracts the buzzing bees, the pollinating workers who allow those trees and to continue on to fulfil their greater purpose and bear fruit. For the whole of nature’s cycle to be able to continue on, for the flowers to sustain each other as the bees and bugs hover from bloom to bloom, scattering pollen in their wake.
I can feel this pressure to be blooming all the time. That we should always be in those stages- either of bearing lots of fruit or at least of displaying lots of wonderful blooms. But nature doesn’t work that way, and as part of nature I don’t believe we need to be in a constant state of Spring or summer in our own hearts either. We need to drop some unnecessary leaves do that we have energy to get us through the colder months. We need the winters of our lives to rest and draw in nutrients, to reach out our roots further under the earth and expand ourselves- even if outwardly it seems like we might be dying.
The only time that is truly dangerous is when we stop growing. However cold and dark it is, if we are alive inside- spring will surely come with its signs to remind us that it’s time to start pushing out new buds and leaves. We need to wake up. We need to be living attractive, bright and in the fullness that is there for us in each season, so that we can continue on to bear fruit in our lives, fruit that sustains and brings life and sweetness.