I once watched as a rose garden bloomed. The flowers were contained within a wooden box at the entrance of a cafe I frequented each morning. In between sips of coffee, I gazed with foggy eyes and took notice of the buds gradually appearing, as though cutting through the final winter frost and announcing the ascension of spring.
Every day I glanced over at the new colors emerging – like witnessing a fresh stroke of paint onto the canvas. Soon, harmonic explosions of blush, fuschia, blood orange and crimson created a symphony. And, when the petals formed together in completion, they were like the pivotal line in a love song that punches you in the gut. All you can do is clutch your heart and sigh.
I have never forgotten the spiritual significance of observing that garden as it formed so gradually and poetically. It offered a lesson in consistency, trust and patience.
All human progressions are sort of the same way. We do not become something new overnight, nor do we build something new overnight. Reinventions are gradual, rhythmic doings which honor all seasons of life. And, the garden’s caretaker and environment will always be the result of its bloom.
Let’s Talk About What Happens in the Spring
If fall is a romance between nature and man, spring is an incitation for reinvention. If fall is for slowing down and crawling into corners, spring is for coming alive and growing out of them.
Look at it this way: If the magic of autumn puts us under a spell of stagnation and winter is spent buried under it, then spring is for breaking it.
But, this shift is more than just a luring from hibernation. Spring asks us to drop those layers of heavy covers we have been hiding under, sweep through the residual dust of our disappointments and mistakes, step out of the shadows and dare to be born again. It is a migration from what is cozy and familiar, and an entrance into open-aired vulnerability. All reinventions require a departure from comfort, but their pathways – though laced with unknowing – always lead us to the fun.
In a 2015 Ipsos poll, 36 percent of individuals chose fall as their most beloved season, with spring followed closely behind – garnering 27 percent of the popular vote. It was also noted that a great number of individuals who chose spring as their favorite also had a comparable affection for fall – and, vice versa. This is interesting because the two seasons share a polarity: In one, life expands and multiplies. In the other, life contracts and begins to die.
On the first day of spring, the Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun. This is also true on the first day of autumn. The difference is this: spring marks the progression of tilting toward the sun; autumn marks the progression of turning away from it.
Both are tantamount to our growth. We must have seasons of turning away from the sun as much as we must have the luxury of feeling it on our skin. Because how would we even know the glory of its light or the pleasure of its sting if we didn’t know its absence?
Spring Is for Cleaning out and Bursting Into Bloom
One of the most bittersweet spring seasons of my life was when I was 20 years old and recovering from a broken heart. A relationship I believed would last forever had finally ended after months of stalling in a state of ruin. I could not cling anymore, nor could I spend another day feeding our dead garden. I was trying so hard not to know it, but our trees were barren. And, that realization was gutting.
But, I say it was bittersweet because I was also cultivating seeds of independence. Having recently moved into my first apartment, it was to me a 600-square-foot palace. That period was colored with explorations such as figuring out which foods I enjoyed cooking – even discovering that I had culinary potential at all. I was learning which kinds of art I liked seeing on my walls, the kinds of candles I enjoyed burning before bedtime and the genre of movies which most engulfed me when I wasn’t consumed with pleasing a boyfriend. I was discovering me.
My heart had endured a beating and was certainly impaired, but it was still pumping blood. Together, we were teaching each other how to be strong. I was hurting, but I was coming alive. I was being stretched, but it ached so right.
Ever since, I have never forgotten that awful yet beautiful feeling of awakening. I now approach every spring with a special fondness for not only my own resilience, but for life’s opportunities for reinvention.
I think of spring as being like a child who will not allow me to hide behind the bushes or rest on the sidelines warming the bench. It instinctively knows my hidden longings. It beckons me with the ripeness of its fruit. It lures me with its lushness. Its emerging sun pursues me, pulling and tugging at my arm, demanding, “Let’s play! Let’s play!”
It asks that we put down our steaming mugs of comfort and become participants of its verdant playground. That we sink our bare feet into its fertile soil. That we pump our bicycle tires full of air and go along for the ride. That we bare our shoulders, zip ourselves into its backless dresses and lower our inhibitions.
Cherry Blossoms woo us with enchantment. Budding trees beckon us to climb and hang from them. Spring asks that we come back to life – that we dance in its rain, shout in its parades and delight in its festivals.
Just as the songbirds spent the winter months incubating their eggs and preparing to hatch when it warms, spring is an incantation for us to give birth to something we have never done before.
Perhaps there is an album’s worth of musical euphoria, a movie script full of hilarious characters, an innovative marketing idea, an entrepreneurial venture, a health and fitness endeavor or another chance at love that has been inside of you incubating for too long now – dying to come out kicking and squealing. This is the season to bring it forth.
Because spring extends its invitation for reinvention to all. It only requests that we take an honest assessment of our internal gardens, discard what isn’t growing, step outside of our zones of comfort and – ultimately – burst into bloom. Just as nature has.
BONUS: Spring Bucket List for Soulful Reinvention
©TheDailyDoll.com / Lacey Johnson 2017
If you enjoyed this, stay tuned for my upcoming e-book, “The 21-Day Inner Life Illumination Reboot,” coming April 22, 2017!