Here they are again, and thank goodness. The spring bulbs’ green blades poking up persistently through the ground. The tiny beginnings of a lilac cluster ready to burst forth with added warmth. Small, delicate leaves—against the odds of Michigan’s cold spring nights—have unfurled their hopeful selves as well.
There are many lessons to find in Spring: renewal, perseverance, hope. These same ideas never go out of style, of course, but sometimes their meanings resonate more at this time of year. With this shift in weather, some of us may need to also consider a shift in perspective. This is a good time to examine attitudes and actions, whether business or personal, to keep, re-shape, or let melt away like old, dirty snow.
We all know the times we’re coming through: a pandemic most of the population has never experienced; stressed out men, women, and children; and an often divisive tone to interactions with each other, particularly where political opinions and personal beliefs come into play. Just writing that feels like hovering under a grey cloud of sorts. Negative thoughts and feelings wear us down, not only mentally, but emotionally and even physically.
And let’s not forget that we’ve just come through the winter season—the one season that seems to drag its feet the most until the sun shifts into a position bringing warmth once again.
Enduring the slow yet gradual warming of Spring is a challenge as well, as spring weather is undoubtedly erratic. Sixty degrees one day, 30 the next, with cold rains and strong winds. The only thing to do is hang in there, wait it out. Believe the warmth will arrive, and the sun will show its shiny face all day.
While taking on some of those spring cleaning tasks like washing windows or storing away winter clothes, ask yourself what small actions could be taken or attitudes tweaked to bring more sunshine into your field of vision. What do you focus on? The rain or its cleansing quality?
My humble suggestion is to notice all the new growth outside, the return of beauty and the power of nature to regenerate, year after year, and to be inspired by it. Feeling stuck in a rut? It’s no wonder, and we all have those times. The good thing is having the power to change, and it just takes a moment of reflection. A simple walk can offer not only the time to notice the return of blooms and greenery, but also time for reflection. Perhaps it’s time to cultivate new friends through your social groups or join a class and meet new ones. Have you been focusing too much on the bad news in the world? Stop reading the news for a few days and instead, take a moment each day to write down what is good in your life. If you admire that turquoise front door you saw while walking around the neighborhood, consider a fresh coat of paint anywhere, as it can bring a lift in mood.
Better yet, whether you consider yourself as having a green thumb or not, purchasing one new spring plant in your favorite color can be a reminder that simple things can bring great joy. Kind of how a smile shared with someone having a gloomy day can feel like a warm ray of sunshine.