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To Every Thing There is a Season

March 18, 2014

Spring-Daiseys---webIMG_9306Summer, Autumn and Winter tend to slip in gradually here at Woodland Springs but Spring generally arrives in leaps and bounds with only a few hints to herald its coming. First the daffodils and plum blossoms dot the landscape, followed by more storms. Then, from one day to the next, the sun comes out, the apple trees open their blossoms, the rhododendrons pop out in a blaze of color, the whir of rufus hummingbirds fills the air, and the grass in the meadow grows 6 inches overnight.  Spring has landed with both feet.

I love the lift that the arrival of Spring gives to even the gloomiest of spirits. The re-emergence of life after long Winter slumbers has long been a symbol of hope and regeneration. All cultures have a mythological tale about springtime that involves the victory of light over dark, life over death. Persephone returns from the underworld, Ostara rescues a bird and turns it into a rabbit who lays eggs. The seed that, in autumn, fell from the dying plant into the dark, cold ground of winter, now remembers its encoding and is reborn as the tiny sprout that will become first seedling, then full grown plant to make the seed that will allow the cycle to renew. This is a time of hope, of new beginnings.

I always walk the woods to prepare for major seasonal shifts like Equinoxes and Solstices but today I wandered to the river as well. Small jewels of light danced atop wavelets as the outgoing tide began pulling the river back to the sea. I was reminded of when I was a child, sitting in a hidden spot along the Mississippi, listening to the whispers of Fairy voices in the bushes beside me.

I watched the current swirl twigs and other bits of flotsam from cubbyholes in the bank and carry them on their journey, feeling the harmony of the seasons in the flow of the river as well. Water flows to the sea, is absorbed into the air, comes back to land as rain and flows into the river again. The twigs and other organic life that ride the currents will decompose and their molecules will return as well, I suppose, but not in the same form.

“When a tree blows down in a Winter storm, it doesn’t come back to life in the Spring,” whispered a familiar voice floating in on the breeze. “Sometimes you need to say goodbye to those whose bodies failed to survive the Winter to give the seeds you plant in Spring room to grow.”  Light That Listens, the Elder of our local Fairy clan, settled on my left shoulder, bringing as she so often does, the final piece of some jigsaw puzzle that I’ve been struggling with. She always seems to know.

There are loved ones who succumbed to the Winter, who aren’t here to greet the Spring with me this year. I had been struggling with how to feel the joy of Spring while grieving the recent losses of Winter. What  Light That Listens reminded me is that before I can plant seeds and rejoice at the exuberance of the new life of Spring, I have to turn the earth and bury the dead remains of Winter. I took a deep breath and said goodbye to beloved friends, Natalie, Linda, and Don, whose bodies did not survive the Winter, sending my love for them on its way with the river.

The body of the tree that falls in the Winter storm feeds the seedlings that will grow from it. The bodies of my friends won’t do that but their spirits will feed the stories that are born this Spring. As the sun balances above the equator at this Spring Equinox, I will hold my breath and feel the timelessness of equal moments of light and dark. As my breath begins again, I will leave the physical losses of Winter in the rich dark of the earth; then I’ll plant  seeds in that earth to sprout and reach for the growing light. I know which seeds I’ll plant for each of my friends, in honor of their spirits.

Welcome, Spring. And thank you, as always, to the Spirits of Nature who help us move through all the seasons of our lives.

— © Bridget Wolfe, 2014

The photo in this post was taken by John Crawford and is a beginning to one of his digital tapestry prints, many of which reveal the Nature Spirits who hide all around us. See more of his prints here.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. MorganG permalink
    March 19, 2014 7:29 pm

    Love this ode to the heralding of Spring. One suggestion–could you set up a share to Google+?

    • March 19, 2014 11:43 pm

      Thanks so much for the comment. I’ll be glad to set up the Google+ share link as soon as I figure out how. 🙂

  2. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words permalink
    March 20, 2014 8:20 pm

    This was a wonderful read for Ostara….
    I started to read, then saved because I felt the outside calling me…
    and as I say goodnight to cyberspace, Yours has the energy of thoughts I will think about tonight…
    Thank you for sharing…I will enjoy wandering through listening to you….
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    • March 20, 2014 11:33 pm

      Isn’t that always the dance – start inside, get called outside, back to the inside again. Or is it the other way around? Thanks for reading, for taking the time to reach out and respond. That kind act tells me I matter, even more than your words. And your words connect me to you and let me know that you matter. Thank you for the dance. – Bridget

  3. March 22, 2014 2:43 pm

    A lovely ode to the beginning of spring and a poignant way to remember those who aren’t with us to see it.

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