Friday, March 1, 2024

Go Slowly Still

Chocolate mint from last years garden. I noticed yesterday one tiny sprig appears to be coming back to life. 

This time of year, in the transition between winter and spring, life is a contradiction. There is birdsong and thunderstorms, daffodils and mud puddles, a pretty spring dress covered up by a warm winter coat. Just as we begin to think winter will never end, nature begins to give us signals that beneath the still cold ground, spring is stirring! It sneaks, unsuspecting from the folds of winter. But one must watch closely to see it, to be aware. Perhaps where you live the snowdrops are in bloom, while for others snow will be on the ground for many weeks to come.

Here in Virginia the daffodils have made their appearance, and the early budding trees are showing glimmers of new life. This year, as with last, winter didn't make much of an appearance. With the exception of one snowfall of about 6", late February into March has been rather mild. I've lived in these parts long enough now to not be fooled by a false spring. We think we've landed full into spring only to get pulled violently back into winter, maybe even a couple of times. But the forecast isn't looking too promising for winter to have a last hurrah. Still, I'm not convinced. The biggest snowfall we've had since moving here was 16", and that was in mid-March. I guess time will tell.

I feel the pull of spring racing to move me forward, but I'm not ready. Maybe you aren't either, and that's okay. It's still early yet, the equinox isn't for a few more weeks. And while the days are lengthening, one aspect of this season that I love, I'm not quite ready yet to unfold from the slower pace of winter. Perhaps it's this upper respiratory illness I've been nursing this week, but deep down I know that's only part of it. I'm simply not ready to rush headlong into all the doing. It's early yet, the mornings, still cold. It's time to dream and plan, start some seedlings, tending them gently and intentionally protected still by the warmth of the hearth. There's no reason we shouldn't keep this pace, as well. Gently, slowly, tenderly, allow yourself to emerge from the darkness. There's no reason yet to expect life to come bursting forth. 

Go slowly still.

Pay attention to your body, your desires, your creative impulses. Learn to trust your own pace and rhythm. Just as you would not expect a seed to shoot up into a plant overnight, allow the same slow growth in your own life. The seeds we plant in our lives will not poke their tender heads above the soil for many days, perhaps even weeks. But this doesn’t mean growth isn’t happening, it’s simply beneath the surface. Just because you can’t yet see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

What plans and dreams do you have for this season? What tender seeds have been planted in the soil of your soul? Are you ready for spring, or still lingering in these final days of winter? Share your thoughts in the comments.

"Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"

- ISAIAH 43:19 NLT

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