For months, I have been looking at this tree outside my office window. Before today, it was completely bare, but now its new leaves are the most refreshing shade of spring green. Even at home, the small tree in my front yard is suddenly bursting with pink blooms like it couldn’t take one more second of plain-jane brown branches. I hear ya, tree.
It’s funny how a little color can perk you right up. We moved here during the winter, and our moods fit the season. Now that spring is coming, it makes me want to be at home in the middle of the day with the curtains open, letting the natural light come in. Natural light always makes chores easier for me. Spring cleaning syndrome, I suppose.
When I was in fifth grade, I was given a creative writing assignment to write a paper describing what you love or don’t love about a particular season. I believe the title of my paper was “Three Things I HATE About Spring!” My exclamation point was drawn like a bubble letter, and I had about three lines underneath “hate.” One thing was tornadoes, and another one was that you lose an hour of sleep because of Daylight Savings. I can’t remember the other. Maybe it was all the rain? Or that summer (my favorite back then) was still several months away?
During college, I learned to appreciate the beauty of fall and winter because that’s when Logan and I first got to know one another. From September to February, I get nostalgic about those first few months of our relationship that included waiting for each other outside of Sid Rich for Astronomy, driving all over town eating donuts because we couldn’t hang out in the dorms, and talking to each other about our families, our hopes and our dreams for the first time.
Spring meant that winter was over, so I didn’t welcome it with open arms.
This spring, I hope I’ll be able to appreciate the new growth and new life, because it’s been a long and rather bleak winter for my soul. I’m beginning to understand the significance behind a painting that a professor brought to class one day, which at first glance looked like a black tree against a dark gray background. We were all silent at first, not seeing anything but a dead tree. It wasn’t until you really concentrated and focused your eyes that you could see the tiny wisps of spring green leaves budding all over the branches.
There’s always hope. Life is a cycle of ebbs and flows and ups and downs and laughs and tears and sighs. It moves along with or without us, ever-changing.
“I myself am part of the weather and part of the climate and part of the place … It is certainly part of my life of prayer.”–Thomas Merton