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The Height of Spring

The Height of Spring

Hello everyone! The end is in sight—you know what I mean—and life is moving again, yay! Things are happening! It’s so exciting I’m breathless.

For the last few months, we’ve all been living in the liminal space of not-quite-over, not-quite-begun. During this transitional phase, I’ve taken up regularly walking the nature trail in my neighborhood. I started going a few times a week in March, after the last frost, and I began to notice the plants. They were unfamiliar to me, as I am still relatively new to the Kansas City area, but I’ve made an effort to learn some of their names.

First it was the mayapples, sprouting up from the soil and unfurling their broad leaves. Then the eastern redbuds bloomed, and the trees were full and pink and flourishing, while tiny white fawn lilies sprouted up by the hundreds along the trail. More blooms followed: happy little violet patches and blue woodland phlox by the creek, and as of May, the invasive but admittedly lovely honeysuckle now perfumes the air with the particular sweetness that belongs only to the height of spring.

This is a reminder to stop for a breath, and take in what’s happening around you, as well as inside you. Things are moving, stores and restaurants are fully opening, people are smiling, and it’s easy enough to get wrapped up in the whirlwind. I recognize that I have done exactly that. Spring is turning into summer, and I am more than ready to forget this last year and race forward, to make plans and changes, to be spontaneous and carefree.

Still, though, fear and grief still clings to me like tar. It sits in the backs of the mind, halting my progress, stagnating my will. I know I am not alone in this. None of us are coming out of this without baggage, and we must make an effort, a real one, to see each other’s struggles. But for today, let’s take a moment to acknowledge ourselves, and take stock of our emotional state.

In my mind, I’m sitting by the creek in the dappled shade of the trees. The water is clear and burbling. The birdsong is music, high above my head. Breathe in, hold it, breathe out.

How am I different than I was a year and some months ago? What kind of person was I when I experienced adversity? How did I treat myself and others? What will healing look like? Is there anything I can do to nurture my emotional, physical, spiritual self? And finally, what do I want for myself in my next chapter?

Today, I am taking a deep breath, and looking inward for an emotional spring cleaning. I am sitting with my grief, neither pushing it away, nor languishing in it. I am allowing fear to pass by, like a cloud being carried off by the breeze. I am setting my intentions. I am noticing the blooms, the birds, the warmth of the sunshine on my skin, and all of the feelings that come and go.

I am taking a deep breath, and I encourage you to breathe out this great sigh of relief with me.