March 2016: Spring Into Spring
May the blessing of light be on you—
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.
~An Old Celtic Blessing
Today, March 20th, is the Spring Equinox or First Day of Spring of 2016. It is also just a few days past St. Patrick’s Day. So the above Celtic Blessing seemed appropriate to me. Celebrating spring with a touch of the Irish.
Spring is oft perceived as the season of new beginnings, new birth, and new growth. Spirits rise with the balmy weather and increased daylight. We are more motivated to make changes this time of year than any other. Some argue that this is the season for making resolutions as opposed to the dead of winter when the New Year rings in. Others consider autumn a new year of sorts with the return to routines of school and work after summer holidays and activities.
For whatever reason, spring has an air of anticipation to it. We look forward to warmer, sunnier days; planting gardens; planning trips; being outside more. All contribute to a closeness with nature and growth. Are we pondering to try new things this spring? To stretch ourselves out of our winter slumber? To improve our quality of life in some way?
Last month I wrote about the death of my maternal grandmother that got me thinking about family and our places within it, connection and a sense of belonging, understanding ourselves in the context of families. I have sorted through some of my childhood experiences and deep-rooted beliefs. Treasuring some, discarding others. Not unlike cleaning out our closets with the changing seasons.
When we change our wardrobes, we welcome back outfits that give us pleasure and still fit! We also have to let go of those items that no longer fit, serve a purpose, or please us. We make decisions to sculpt our ideal body with diet and exercise—often thinking back to a previous size or hoping for a different size and shape in the future. Sometimes we succumb to discouragement in our desires for the perfect wardrobe, body, life.
It is also beneficial to clear out our minds. A mental spring cleaning. Do we make time for quiet reflection to accomplish this goal? Do we pay attention to the internal clutter? Allow ourselves to sense the inner shifting and bring it forward into daily life? Or do we rush around, distracting ourselves with busy-ness, ignoring our interior world?
Maybe the mental spring cleaning is too scary. We fear bringing our innermost thoughts and feelings into the light. We don’t want to face what doesn’t fit anymore. There is comfort in the familiar after all. But just as the spring weather warms the earth generating new life from the sleeping ground, so too we must cast light upon our inner world to encourage growth or we risk rot and stagnation.
We must face the thoughts that help us and those that hinder us. And make adjustments as necessary. It certainly is a long process, not accomplished over night. It requires persistence, patience, and courage. For me, it also requires stepping into the light: embracing all that I am and want to be. Looking closely at what needs to change, what needs to grow, what needs to be let go, what needs acceptance. Risk leaving my comfort zone.
What about you? Are you ready for spring? For growth and renewal?
May the Light be upon you as you trust the process and boldly go forth into this new season.