Today is the first day of Spring, and it is marked by the Vernal Equinox. That means today we experience 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime.
Today also marks the beginning of a season that is so heartily anticipated because it signifies warmth, light, new life, growth, transformation, and new beginnings. Spring is when the flowers begin to push up from the ground, the snows begin to fade, the trees begin to show buds. It’s when birds return, and squirrels and chipmunks skitter about again, chittering and playing and celebrating the warming of the earth.
Spring is also a good time to contemplate balance. With the darkness and the light vying for equal time, today reminds me take into consideration the balance we struggle with each day. And the growth and transformation that takes place during the dark times of our lives.
The day I told my children their dad and I were getting a divorce, we held each other and cried until the afternoon light faded into the black of night. We didn’t even move to switch on a lamp. The three of us sat in the darkness, just enveloped in our grief. Then, like a timid flame of a newly lit candle, Alexandra, in her sweet little six-year-old voice whispered, “Mama, it’s going to be okay. Sometimes we need to be sad so we can make the good times better.” She made the darkest moment of our life brighter with that glimmer of hope.
And that is what Spring is to me. It’s that glimmer of light at the end of the darkness of winter that promises lighter times, brighter times, warmer times. There may be snow flurries, or rain, or ice storms, but every day we move closer to summer, warmer temperatures, barbecues, camping, hiking, kayaking, visiting with family and friends.
We just have to hang on and not lose hope, because warmer days truly are on their way.
This concept can be applied to our lives year-round. Life hangs in a continuous balance, each day bringing positives and negatives. How we cope, how we handle these moments determines the life we live.
Sometimes we need to step back and assess the balance we maintain. Is it off kilter? Have we become comfortable in stagnation? In our grief? Have we reconciled ourselves to the fact that life sucks and this is how it is? Or do we look at what is, and imagine how it can be?
Now is the time to take a look at how we define ourselves. Do we define ourselves by our losses or our gains?
Do we remember the jobs we applied for and did not get, or
do we celebrate the jobs we applied for and received?
Do we lament over the loved ones who have passed, or do we celebrate the memories we made when they were alive? Do we remember with regrets the moments of pain, or push them aside and embrace the moments of love?
Do we look back at our lives and stew in bitterness over the lost relationships, the trips never taken, the house we didn’t buy, the car we do not drive?
Or do we look around in gratitude and see our accomplishments, and own our efforts, and plan for the next success we want to see?
Are we that little green shoot pushing up through the slightly frozen earth, that thin blanket of snow, searching for sunlight and warmth, determined to blossom into a beautiful snowdrop or hyacinth?
Or are we going to lay around like a dormant, stagnating pile of autumn leaves, clinging to the deteriorating shape that once defined our glory, refusing to let the past go so that we can nurture who we are yet to become?
That is the balance of life. That is Spring. Now is the time to embrace the endless possibilities that await us, and let go of the past we cannot change.
Now is the time to prepare the soil for the goals and dreams you want to plant and nurture throughout the year.
Now is the time to acknowledge and accept the balance of good and bad, sorrow and joy, life and death, dark and light, in your life.
Now is the time to celebrate life. And as I always say…
Life is for living, so live it.