The long process of moving from Winter to Spring, runs the reverse course from the Fall transition into Winter only the Spring transition feels so much harder. For a few weeks now I have been sliding down into myself, removing myself from most communications, growing increasingly silent, wanting the depths of whatever was happening to replace being in the shallows where I’ve been for far too long. This began spontaneously, unfolding with no plan, just a slow movement into this different space/time experience. I’ve sought silence, wanting to sink into feeling my way through whatever has been happening.
What is the experience of matted salt marsh grass, the thick layers of brown thatch looking like a dense, impenetrable barrier for the tender green shoots lying underneath seeking light? It takes so long for the green to overtake the brown, months where living stalks push upward through the deadened mass above them.
What determined force sends out exploratory shoots of not-yet-green from inside the heart of a bulb buried deeply enough under dark soil to have kept the frozen layers above from killing the life lying at the center of that firm and rounded bit of brown?
What allows the winged creatures, large and small, to persevere though the cold, the sleet, the wind blown heaps of frozen white? What life force encased in feathers and down gets them through months of impossibly harsh weather only to face sparse food supplies in the long stretch when those who fled to warmth return to compete for what little food remains?
What is our common ground, the force that gets us from impossible waiting to breaking through to life’s full warmth when nothing else matters but just being? Science may explain some of these how’s but getting to pure joy remains within the experience itself, without whys: “Is-ness” exploding into being.
It’s yellow season. Daffodils and forsythia blossoms are popping up in yards and patches. Star magnolias trees are just beginning to blossom, so unlike the pink magnolias I knew further south. But this year nothing seems particularly spectacular. Maybe it is still a bit early or maybe we are still weary, still tenuously facing unknowns. There are bits of grace here and there and while we wait for Spring’s full new life we remain uncertain and, perhaps, still a bit afraid.
Our longing is to burst into joy. Do we yet dare?