Spring: A Time of Rebirth
When Is Spring? Where Is Spring?
Winter can be a dreary time of year. We travel to work or school with the gray slush of dirt and snow stuck to our bulky boots. We sit at our desks, backs slouched and aching, exchanging stares betwixt the dull black-and-white text on our computer screen and the bleak view of dormant trees and grimy vehicles on the other side of the window. The darkness of night overcomes the sky before we have even had a chance to go home, and if we have the luxury of eating a nice dinner, the desire to slumber soon follows.
With the disappearance of the grass, so too might we feel like we’re withering away. Our healthy habits might begin to erode. Our commitments to others might seem like burdensome chores. Remember how excited we were to make those New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps we’d like not to be reminded of them now.
But then comes spring. Trees rouse from their sleep, stretching their limbs and sprouting fresh foliage among them. Birds return from their annual vacation and fill the air with song. The river thaws, and joyous sunlight makes it sparkle; a whole palette of colors begins to replace winter’s monochromatic dreariness. The whole world feels alive again. With spring comes rebirth.
When is spring? Where is spring? Whence does this rebirth come? Perhaps these are odd questions. Most people, I assume, would say that spring begins with the vernal equinox–March 20th, this year–and it occurs outside, as all weather does. The answers I hope for, however, are more symbolic in nature, and I feel that they touch every one of our lives at all times and in all instances.
When we think of spring, we think of the things I mentioned above: the radiance of the sun, the music of the air, vibrant spirit coursing through every living thing. We can close our eyes and almost feel it. We wish it were here. But to do so is to inadequately capture all that spring is and all that it represents.
The brightness of day and the warmth of the air–the fullness of our lives–is always already available to us. Rebirth is possible for all of us, all the time. Because in spring, not only do plants and animals connect with one another in beautiful community; so do we. Every day is a new day to build positive relationships, to reach out a hand, and to add value to someone else’s life, and in doing so, adding value to ours. The feeling of winter can keep us all down, but a smile and conversation, small instances of compassion and fraternity, can bring the affection of spring into any situation.
So when is spring? It is always. Where is spring? It is everywhere around us. Whence does rebirth come? It comes from inside of us, and it extends itself outward toward others. Maybe every day can’t be seventy degrees, but every day does give us a chance to choose rebirth.