The Song of Spring -- A Reposting from May 13, 2016


Create art in order for yourself to become yourselfand let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story. Let your very identity be your book. Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody.

So go create. Take photographs in the wood, run alone in the rain and sing your heart out high up on a mountain where no one will ever hear and your very existence will be the most hypnotising scar. Make your life be your art and you will never be forgotten.

Charlotte Eriksson

By the time our eyelids flutter open, small bits of morning light have started seeping through our window blinds. We no longer feel we are waking in the dark of night each morning. We can see the familiar landscape of mountains and trees burst with green. It is lush and teeming with new life. I open the window over our kitchen sink and can hear a chorus of birds fill the air with song. They are ready for the day. Flitting and tweeting about with great energy.

Yes. Spring has finally arrived after all. We have had weeks of manic weather here in Cache Valley. Wind storms have blown so forcefully that the tiles have blown off our rooftop. The walls of our house creaked and moaned with stress. We have had sunny and warm days that have invited a lightness and energy not felt in months, along with darker days where the clouds have moodily covered the sky like a thick blanket. We have also experienced rain, where the water falling has hydrated the earth, leaving puddles of excess on the sidewalks and streets. And fleeting episodes of hail that have dropped quickly from the sky, testily pelting our arms and heads as we made a mad dash from store to car. Thunderstorms come too–like a moody older sister,  violent and random, demanding attention–the echoes of tremors remain in our ears and beneath our feet long after the storm has passed.

I have found moments where my own moods have felt as varied as the weather. Am I alone in this?  Our own slow emergence from winter can feel just as erratic at times. Unstable. One day, I have the energy of a clear, cloudless sky–ready to bloom and create! I am washing sheets, creating meal plans, writing letters, catching up on projects long forgotten. So I am startled to find a few days later,  I can hardly find the will to get out of bed. The sunshine igniting all that energy is long gone. Another morning, I wake feeling mournful and filled with the sorrow of what has been lost, any joy and optimism pouring out of me like the rain I see outside my window.  And on a few occasions, I have startled myself and those I cherish with a burst of anger that lashes out of me like a storm. Unbidden and wholly unexpected. So I try to remain aware of myself. To ask questions.

Eyes that have found their way in darkness may need some time to adjust to the light. This is spring. Light returns to us again, bit by bit. All that once slept has been awakened once more. What looked lifeless was in fact, readying for a new birth. The trees burst forth with green leaves and blossoms. Grass softens and deepens its hue. Tulips and daffodils find their way out of the dark and cold– reaching for the sun. They seem to proudly announce their colors. All that was brown and barren bursts forth like a revelation. The world is coming alive before our eyes. Animals follow suit. We see horses in the fields with their foals, baby goats grazing with the larger goats, and ducklings making their way through local canals and waterways. I can’t help but feel an inherent sense of hope and amazement as I make my way through my days. I desire to take it all in.

We are no less amazing. The roots of our winter have been fortified too. They are ready to sustain us.  Our branches can hold the weight of our newly-formed leaves. The blossoms of new ideas or different ways of being are ripe and bursting open with life.  Our ideas begin to itch inside us. Pay attention. It is time to create. To be reborn. Much of the internal work of winter desires expression now. We may feel an agitation to start something new. To take some of what we have been processing in the dark months of winter and find new forms of expression or more relevant meaning.

This Spring, I have felt subtle urgings to–

  • Find new recipes that are lighter than our winter menu. To enjoy berries, asparagus, and greens.

  • Align myself more with the sun–I love to foster even the smallest of moments to feel the warmth and light. It feels like a hug. I slow down. Close my eyes. Breathe. I find myself trying to do all manner of things outside! Read. Exercise. Eat lunch.

  • Examine some of my behaviors that don’t seem to fall in line with my values and make changes. I want to give myself a chance to begin again. Always.

  • Organize my daughter, Maya’s, memory chest (think photos upon photos, samples of writing, notes, birthday cards, drawings) before she graduates from high school. It will be my most treasured offering as it contains remnants of her past. Dolls, childhood blankets, yearbooks, journals–her childhood wrapped up neatly in one place.

  • Follow The Minimalists (a podcast I enjoy) and lighten up our material load as well as our time commitment load so that we can better enjoy our down time. Simplifying my closet has been an absolute gift. When I reach for an item of clothing each morning, I have the pleasure of knowing I love it. That is why it is still there!

These creations are hardly grand, I realize. Still, I find such satisfaction as I begin to bring them to life. I suppose the idea is to be open. To listen to what our urgings might be. Some ideas might be familiar to us, some might take some time but are worth considering in the long view (like writing a book or heading back to school or starting a garden). Others might be smaller inclinations that point us toward a higher quality of life and happiness (like cleaning out closets or being outside more or redecorating a room).  They all matter and have worth. I hope we can allow for the time and space to welcome such offerings of spring. To gather ourselves up from our roots and nourish our new selves.

May we hear and enjoy the song of spring. It sings of beginning again. Of hope. Of creating something that reflects who we are– in this moment of  life. Right here, right now. Only we can offer what is ours to give. Shall we begin it? Let’s make our lives our art.

Now it is your turn!

How have you felt this Spring? Have you felt any creative urgings? Please share in the comments below!