It is the first day of spring, but it has been creeping up on us for weeks it seems, so close I’ve been able to taste it. I can feel it beckoning me outside every opportunity it gets.
Birds chirp in what was just weeks ago the dead silence of winter.
Fragrant, breathtaking flowers bloom on recently bare branches.
The sun – comforting, crisp, warm – beams down on my face.
I am thankful.
The kind of thankful that doesn’t have words or reasons, it’s just there, filling my soul in ways that only spring can.
I’ve longed extra deeply for sunshine this winter, for the warmth of its rays and the beautiful aftermath it leaves in my garden. Particularly, its symbol of promise and hope.
I love spring because it reminds me that death does not have the last word. It reminds me that no matter how long the winter, the promise of those breathtaking cherry blossoms still remains. It reminds me that there’s nothing that can stop the sun from eventually coming out, from bringing beauty to the blank space of winter.
The fact that you can literally watch the bare branches of winter morph into beautifully adorned limbs lining every street in town, completely unprompted yet perfectly timed, is one of the most holy things on earth.
Perhaps what fascinates me most about spring is the tangible example it is of change. It is a reminder that there is an allotted time for everything in life: laughter and mourning; joy and sorrow; celebration and loss. We don’t just know the sweet smells of spring; we know the bitter cold of winter, too. Without the quiet, bitter, colorless chill of winter, the warm colors and smells and sounds of spring would not be as profound, as powerfully life-giving.
To know spring is to know winter. It is to understand that there are seasons in life, some full of joy and laughter, some full of mourning and heartache. I don’t know that you can have one and not the other in life. But the beauty about seasons is that each one cultivates a deeper gratitude for the others. By the time winter rolls around again next year, I’m sure I’ll be ready for it, too – whether I know it or not. My soul will be full after soaking up every moment of spring, summer, fall.
Of course, there is certainly something to say for the fact that when those autumn leaves begin to fall off the trees and we begin to head into the winter months, I’ll be ready for that bitter chill, too. Once again, winter’s predecessors prepare and strengthen my heart to take on the frigid winter months of quiet, still reflection. They refill my reserve to brave the cold, figuratively and literally.
But for today, that glorious sunshine is calling my name. And I can’t get enough of it.