Friday, May 8, 2009

Between Winter & Spring: A Bridging Time

Our mufflers and mittens have been stored away. Our boots and heavy coats packed up. The porch furniture came out today. The forsythia is in bloom. The Jays are building a nest in the eaves outside the bedroom window and the Mallards are mating.

But our nights are cold and the days are only almost warm. Each day I think, "Ah, today I'll dress for Spring," but before breakfast ends I've put on socks and a sweater. Not long ago I trotted out to get the paper, ready for a warmer day and stepped right into powered sugar morning. Everything from forest floor beneath my feet to the pines above on the highest mountain peaks was covered with a light coating of snow.

Even our house isn't warm yet. Winter lingers in the corners. Outside the Poplars still have no leaves. Some days it's warmer outside for a few hours than inside and I throw open the windows to let in the fresh air. Other days we still turn on the fire.

It takes awhile to get from where we've been to where we're headed. We're in the bridging time.

I don't know why I'm impatient for Spring this year. I usually love for Winter to linger, as it tends to do here in the mountains sometimes even into June.

Maybe it's because we're also in a bridging time in our lives and in our country. Most all of us are in some stage of bridging from a more predictably affluent, convenient way of life to something less certain and not so plush and efficient as we've grown accustomed to.

Unlike nature, though, which always takes its time and doesn't mark seasons by a calendar, we tend to want to know when things will start and stop. We like clear demarcations. We like our weather and our lives to be "good." We don't like uncertainty. We want a reliable weather man. Yet this is a time a great uncertainty.

So Spring maybe taking on a new meaning. It's arrival may give us hope of a return to what we've known. Certainly it has always been synonymous with new beginnings. Perhaps that is how we would be best served to look for meaning this Spring. Not as a return to a fantasy way of life where we can grow and grow and borrow, and borrow and accumulate ever more and more - bigger, better, faster. But instead a bridge to a new way of life that doesn't put our households, our livelihoods, our families, our nation, and our Earth in such jeopardy.

Today being a pleasantly sunny, almost warm afternoon, we were outside chatting with our next door neighbor. "It's so lovely out today," we were all exclaiming. Then our neighbor said "I'm so glad to hear positive news about the economy! So glad to get away from all the endless spreading of fear."

I had to think about that for a moment. Yes, I hate to see us driven by fear, yet my fear is that we'll think we can go back to living beyond our means - personally, nationally, and on a planetary level. Then we will have much to fear. That's what got here. But fear has brought us in line. Shaped us up. We're spending less, saving more, living more simply, learning to do many things for ourselves we'd nearly forgotten how to do. Now the ardors of a recessionary winter are beginning to ease. New ways of life are budding.

It's a bridging time. Can we cross the bridge to an yet undefined way of life we'll participate in shaping, not from fear of living forever in a harsh Winter, but in anticipation of a new Spring?

Blessings of Nature


Terri Thompson said...

A wonderful lesson as always. I'll be chewing on this for a while, in fact, I think I already was, you just put it into words.
Thank you, Sarah!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

I so agree with you, on wishing that some lessons learned, will not be forgotten. I see this, as a silver lining in the Recession cloud.

Yes, we've all lost many things. And some of them, are hard.

But some of them, aren't.

I've been trying to Simplify, for ages. Never really getting "all there." But in this economy, it's so much easier to do so.

We never "kept up with the Jones" so we're ahead of the game. But no matter, hardly any of us have voluntarily become as self sufficient or as Simple Living, as we could. I truly hope that more of us will. And that many will not return to the old ways... which like you said, got us where we are.

I so wish that more people could realize that one can be happy, without "keeping up with the Jones." And all that implies.

Thank you for this entry! You are always full of wisdom and insight.

Gentle hugs,
'Aunt Amelia'