Seasons of Growth
As unpredictable and finicky as early spring can be, there is still an indescribable beauty about her arrival, about her promise. And really every season brings their own beauty and their own promise. Like summer with her promise of long days and warm sun, her promise of adventures oftentimes near the water, healing and refreshing. And autumn with her promise of gold and bronze, her promise of assurance in the letting go. Like winter, although cold and dark, with her promise of quiet and comfort, her promise of time – time to rest, time to heal. But spring, in all her haphazardness and wildness, brings the promise of promises. She promises light after darkness. She promises growth and blooming. She promises grace.
And we are all synchronized, in ways we fully recognize and in ways we can’t even fathom, to seasons, to all of them. They are all four necessary, vital in our lives – we need those long days of summer when we let worries wash away in the haze and daze of long days filled with sunscreen and saltwater, with laughter and starry nights. Just like we need the colors of autumn and the falling away of leaves when we begin slowing down and relishing in the need to grab a sweater. We need that time when we give ourselves permission to breathe, deeply and with intention. We need the darkness and coldness of winter when we tuck away into the silent pockets of our lives and find places needing a little more love, a little more attention. And we need spring when we are reminded of promises. Days spent between a coat and a T-shirt, spent shifting between the shade and the sun. Days tending to gardens and nights praying the freeze stays away. Promises. Promises that appear in the first peekaboo of a yellow tulip. Promises in green glimpses on tree branches. Promises that appear in the first pink blooms in the orchards.
My fourteen-year-old son said to me the other day, on March 1st, as the snow was blowing in sideways, hard and relentless, “March is supposed to be the Promise Month. What is this nonsense?” and all I could muster up as a response was laughter. Because that is the promise – the promise is in the haphazard chaos, in the uncertainty, in the unpredictable beauty. The promise is in the surprise. In the certainty of blooms despite the snow resting on the ground. In the growth and the bravery to rise. That’s spring and all she promises. And we are spring, budding and blooming, holding on to the promise that we are growing. Growing despite the long, hard winters. Growing fearlessly in the face of challenges, new and old. Growing, rising up.
And like spring, growth is not perfect. Healing is not linear. Spring is progress. It is the promise that growth is still happening even when you can’t see it, even when you can’t fully enjoy it. Think of the first fearless tulip or Easter lily you will surely see this spring. Think about how every year that first sighting takes your breath away. How you commend it for tucking in during the winter, how you celebrate it for holding on through the darkness, how you cheer it on as it turns its head toward the sun in a rebellious nod that it grew despite the long freeze and despite the harsh winds. Spring is grace. Spring is recognizing the growth within ourselves, haphazard and chaotic. Not perfect. Not linear. Spring is celebrating our progress. It is commending ourselves for holding on through the darkness. It is celebrating the tiny buds within us that are promises of big and colorful blooms.
Spring is just on the other side of winter. Think about all you have done, all you have become, all you have grown since Christmas tree decorating and sugar cookie baking. That was winter; and while it seems like a lifetime ago, here you are. Here you are. Budding. Blooming. Growing. A whole new version of yourself. And you likely didn’t even know it was happening, slowly and all at once. Imperfect. Graceful. And that’s the thing about seasons, we are all of them. We are the summer fun and the autumn release and the winter quiet and the spring promise.
As we tiptoe into the promise of spring, I wish for you grace. The grace to commend yourself and to celebrate yourself and to cheer yourself along as you grow. I hope you recognize all you are and all you’ve accomplished and all you’ve overcome. Turn your face to the sun in a nod that you are imperfect and are still growing. Smile in an acknowledgment that you are blooming even if it doesn’t show yet. Let yourself take up space in this new season, in this promise.