Thursday, March 8, 2012

Awaiting Spring

The female side of the blogosphere is filling up with talk about spring. Seems that many of us, women in particular, are ready to break free of the dull winter routines and open up our windows as well as our souls to the fresh breezes of a new spring. We are all stirred by the thoughts of clotheslines full of white sheets drying in the sunshine, bouquets of fresh lilacs and hyacinth perfuming the air, bright-eyed children coming in at dinnertime flushed and excited from an afternoon spent playing out-of-doors, and our homes neat and tidied and stripped down from winter's excesses, ready for the airy, carefree days of summer.

We are birds, ready and longing to feather our new nests.

I understand those instincts and, to a certain extent, I share them.

But over the years, I've learned that there is a certain pause that the seasons must take at this time of year. 

Warm spring weather does not usually follow close on the heels of winter. There is a certain downtime, a period of laying fallow, that we must endure before the seasons reset their annual cycle of growth, death and rebirth. This is not an exciting time of year. In four-season climates, it typically involves mud, bare trees, weeds, plenty of rain and gloomy skies, and frustratingly cool temperatures. We are given glimpses of the glory to come - crocuses that dare to push up from the ground, cherry blossoms that begin to swell on the branches, the sun that peeps into the sky a bit earlier each morning and lingers a tiny bit longer each evening. 

But for now, this is our season to hesitate, to reset our own rhythms as the earth resets hers, to patiently wait in the tail end of winter until the coming rebirth of spring. 

And while this might not be the most exciting time of year, it is an essential part of the seasonal cycle. In the spirit of embracing its beauty as we wait for it to pass, I share with you the following images of late winter and very early spring.

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