For me, spring is more than just a season, it’s a mood. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we experience four distinct seasons, and the doorways to them are the four great cardinal turning points of the year: the summer and winter solstices, and the spring and autumn equinoxes. I say “doorways” because the change is never precise. Seasons here come in fits and starts. Take spring, for example. We may enjoy a warm day that hints at summer, only to be followed by several inches of snow. But I’ve found that, spiritually, once that door is cracked, the season follows in its own time.
And yes, I do believe the turning of the season brings with it a spiritual change, especially this year when we’ve spent so much time confined to our own patches of ground. I’ve always loved these few, sheltered acres where I live, with their humble house, creek, woods and mile upon limitless mile of sky. But since the pandemic has narrowed my life, this property has become even more dear and precious, a sacred place that cradles and protects me.
Perhaps because we heat our home with wood, the autumn is a time for gathering, for drawing in tight. Dark comes earlier, and the wind blows cold enough to chase us inside. The first fire of the season is kindled, and something comes alive with it, in my heart. An old wisdom, not quite forgotten.
Winter hones us. As the trees, shrubs and grasses shed their leaves and the year ages, so do we shed the extraneous things we thought necessary to our lives. A pot of hot soup is enough. A good book, and the flickering of flames. Who cares if the north wind blows cold outside?
But now spring has come knocking on my door. Despite the constricted parameters of our world, I feel my spirits rise, just like the sap that unfurls new leaves on every limb. All the world goes green. The wind no longer shouts at us, but whispers seductively. Open yourself to the sky, it says. Feel the heartbeat of the ground beneath your feet. Hear the water’s laughter in the stream, and take into your breast the holy fire of the sun. Who can resist the spring?
Soon summer will come, a heedless girl caring not for tomorrow, but celebrating a bounty in which she invites us to partake. Flowers spilling everywhere. Color abounding. Life in every blossom abuzz with beetle and bee. Sunlight hot enough to make you forget the need of a fireside in winter.
But do you know what? I won’t think about that now. This is the moment of spring. The door is open, and gladly, gratefully, I step through.