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Seasons of Renewal

“So as long as a person is capable of self-renewal, they are a living being.”
~Henri Frederic Amiel, 1821-1881, Swiss Poet & Philosopher

Spring Blossoms

With the birds chirping outside and the cool, yet sunny days growing longer, it is not difficult to appreciate the beauty of the springtime. The tulips poke their heads up through the ground, the squirrels and birds return to their business and the deep snows melt away. Still, spring is even more powerful than its inspiring visions of colorful flowers and running streams.

Spring carries with it a very unique energy, burgeoning with the buzz of renewal. Renewal, or to make all things new again, is a sacred energy, one that life could not continue without. The circle of life, so sacred to the belief structures of many cultures, would be an incomplete circle, and therefore not a continuous cycle, without the renewal, the rebirth.

How many times have we each wished that we could start things over again? Wished that we could have fresh energy or undo the mistakes or simply be young again? Well, spring is your time!

Though we may not know it, living in our fast-paced modern world, humans do enter a phase that is similar to hibernation during the winter months. Our energy gets lower, our bodies get looser, our sleep gets longer. With the natural return of the sun, spring begins the cycle of awakening, and thus renewal. We can embrace that energy and awaken feeling freshened, full of energy and ideas.

A very simple way of getting a little bit of this springtime energy into your soul is to go out and be in it and work with spring at its own level. Spring is the beginning, so try getting outside close to dawn, if possible. Put on a thick sweater, take a thermos of hot tea and walk out in your yard or garden or in a local park. Get down close to the ground and look at the plants just pushing up through the soil. Grab a rake and clean up some of last autumn’s and winter’s debris. Don some garden gloves and plant some new seedlings to harvest later in the year. By working, as the springtime does, to renew the Earth and take in its changes, you will be embracing the same type of growth and renewal for your own life.

Of course, in embracing this energy, it is important to know that nature’s cycles can be both gentle and violent. It is not experienced the same by every one of her creatures. Sometimes the flower that pushes up through the soil will tear up a wide swath of ground with its force, leaving the place looking ragged and unkempt, until the blossom finally beautifies all with its glorious color and scent. Perhaps you may have a sweet and flowing journey through your time of renewal, while I may experience explosive change and a sense of confusion or regret. That is the gamble that we all take in renewing ourselves, in beginning again.

Though change is never easy, it promises the excitement of the unknown, the opportunity to keep learning and growing. Just as the new seedlings in the spring must first push their way through the hard, cold ground before they can grow tall and blossom.

Like it or not, at times we all reach a point of stagnation in our lives, when we can’t seem to go forward or backward. This can be the death of us, whether of our hope, our health, our faith or our relationships. In such situations we often cannot see the need for change in ourselves, or we cannot see the way of making it happen. We look outside of ourselves for an answer, even just a subtle push. The springtime is nature’s season for giving that subtle push, though our personal season of renewal can come at any time, in any month of the year.

Spring has been the harbinger of changes to come since before mankind walked this Earth. It has been worshipped as sacred, as the time of the new dawn, by countless cultures and religions, both ancient and modern. It is worth pausing to reflect on this time of renewal while it is happening around you. Let spring fill you up with hope, for spring is an energy which never looks backward or allows regrets. Spring is the looking forward, the building up, and it is filled with optimism and promise.