Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring's Lessons: We Know It's Time

“Rejoice always.” John Adams

The wildflowers are in full bloom now, resplendent in all their vibrant glory. The ducks are mating down by the pond, pairing up, strutting together side-by-side. Two Stellar’s Jays are building a new nest in the rafters outside our bedroom window, one scavenging for twigs and twine, the other constructing a little home from it all. The forsythia is decked out in bright yellow blossoms along the house and the peach tree nearby is donning pale pink buds.

And, of course, the bats are back. They always take up residence in the front porch rafters come in the Spring where they stay through the Fall.

Spring is here … they know it … even if we don’t. It’s cold. Really cold. It was 23 this morning. It doesn’t seem like Spring. But still they know it’s time to begin doing what needs doing this time of year.

So, how come we don’t know? We fret and worry and wonder and doubt. Is now the time to do this or that? Shall I plunge ahead? Shall I wait? Or shall I just forget it?

I think we do know, just as they do. We know when it’s time to act; when it’s time to wait. We just don’t pay attention to what we know. We have the blessing and the curse of being able to think about what we want and don’t want. The opportunity to question what we know. The chance to confuse ourselves with various scenarios. Instead of listening to our inner knowing.

Instead of doing what we know we need to do, what it’s time to do, we think about what we think we want to do. Since the two are not always the same, so we get confused, frustrated, irritated.

Over the past half-century, we in our society have come to believe we can be, do and have whatever we want whenever we want it. Even if we have many burdens we still have a sense that if we just play it all right we’ll be able to live whatever dream we have and many of us have done just that, sometimes at a great toll of overwork, stress, exhaustion, and sacrifice of daily pleasures.

At the same time we tell the pollsters that what we need is more time to rest, to be with family, to enjoy ourselves, and we hope that someday we will.

As I watch life all around me in this Spring-infested forest, I wonder why we’re waiting to do what we really need to do. Why we get so distracted by things we think we want that don’t give us what we need. I'm grateful Spring is here bursting forth all so boldly in defiance of the cold chill that tarries from Winter's fading bite to remind me how often what we need to begin, begins with what we need to end.

Maybe that’s what Spring-cleaning has so long been about. Clearing away all the stuff we don’t really want anymore, the stuff that isn't like what's going to be, to make room for what we really need when the time comes.

I woke up this morning feeling a need to clear out the bookshelves and the closets. Oh, but I didn’t want to do that. It didn’t sound like much fun. I’d rather create something new … like this newsletter. Suddenly that’s what I really wanted to do!

Now I know why. I needed to let Springtime remind me to listen to what I need … so, the boxes are out and I’m clearing out all this stuff!!! Making room for what it will be time for next. I'll know what that is soon. It's in the making. It's Springtime.

Spring blessings,

“Look on the bright side.” Bo Bice