The Lessons of Spring
I find beauty in every season, but I must confess that I have an on-going love affair with Spring. There is an ancient magic that speaks to me on so many levels. Aside from the obvious- the blooming flowers, birdsong, lots of green, and warmer temperatures, I think perhaps it’s the idea of rebirth, another chance of recreating oneself, that is the siren call for me. I have always been a sucker for another shot at getting it right, for myself and others.
It seems that now more than ever, this Spring is a symbol for where I am in my life. Almost eight months after my mother’s death, I am still finding small parts of me that are not healed from that summer of challenge and loss. I wouldn’t trade a moment for anything, but now it is time for me to grab the reigns and have my own rebirth, my own second chance. I have made many sputtering attempts at starting diet and fitness plans over the last months to lose the weight I gained from stress and grief, but I haven’t seemed to be able to focus on it with my normal ‘take no prisoners’ attitude. It feels like my body is still wanting to curl into itself and avoid any feelings that bring pain. As I look back over the past months, I can see that I have pulled away from people, feeling an almost primal need to head to the safety of home as soon as my workday is done. I crave the peace and solitude of home, the loving kindness of my husband, the companionship of my animals. It’s time to re-enter the world.
I have taken some steps toward coming out of my cocoon. I spent last week’s Spring Break getting a physical and developing a plan with my doctor. I also spent many hours working in the gardens, outside with the dogs and cat, feeling the sun on my face and peace in my heart. I did some major Spring cleaning, letting go and donating things that don’t serve me anymore. I practiced a lot for upcoming performances and enjoyed having time to read. All of these things were good, but I am aware of something inside me that still wants to hibernate. Something of who I am changed, and many of the traits that I think of as mine are altered. Sometimes it feels like I am still walking in that veil of fog that I wore for the first couple of months after Mom died. It is such a strange feeling. Not a hopeless one, just maybe that my body and mind created such a thick barrier to get me through the experience that it is taking longer to chip my way out of it- but I will.
People who are around me might read this and be completely shocked. I have thrown myself into work and performing with great enthusiasm, and I am friendly and gregarious with co-workers and students…but it takes everything I have to do it. I often tell my students that if they want to make a change, they need to act their way into a new way of thinking, and it’s time for me to follow my own advice. I want to be like the beautiful iris that just burst open in our yard after sleeping through the long winter. I am ready to get back to exercise, to finishing my book, to spending time with friends…to truly return to my life- not just a shadow of it. It is a new and different life with lots of change, but that is good. Change is just what I need to shake me awake and propel me forward.
I am ready to start acting my way into a new way of being- healthier eating, exercise, goals to work toward (running the 5K Color Run in May, preparing for a performance in Madrid this summer, and finishing my book, for starters). I want to soak up the beauty of Spring, learn everything I possibly can from its lessons as I watch it break into rampant beauty and new life after a long hard winter. No matter how tough the winter- or the experience- we can all come through stronger and better than before. I am counting on it, and I am grateful for the opportunity to try again. Thank you, Spring