Snowflakes and Pollen


Winter calls me to stillness. Spring calls me to growth. I’ll likely resist both. Until I don’t. 

We’ve arrived at one of those times of the year when you need to dress for this season and for last season every day. It’s all about layering so that you’re ready for the warm and the cold, so that you’re able to shed clothes that don’t serve you or add them as necessary. That’s just how it works. And we generally don’t get too hung up about it outside of the seemingly irresistible urge during small talk to get all, “What the heck’s going on with the weather?!” The change of seasons is going on, that’s what. This is how it works. Every time.

That’s also how it works internally. Winter calls me to stillness. Spring calls me to growth. I’ll likely resist both. Until I don’t. I push back against winter until it’s just too cold or too dark too early or there are too many holiday obligations to fight it anymore and I finally settle in. That’s when winter is free to do its thing, freed to be a time of deepening roots and barren branches. Once I surrender, winter can offer me the gifts it comes bearing. Stillness. Mourning. Healing. Learning. And spring? Same same. Though to different ends.

What’s my point? Not only are we not separate from the natural rhythms of the world but they are also drawing us a map for the process of change and growth in our lives.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve begun to feel a sense of urgency even a sense of feeling behind on some changes or goals. Cool. I get that. Also, you’re not late. Urgency is information and motivation. It is the spring thaw within. And just like the thawing weather and barren trees hinting at buds, it’s an ebb and flow at this stage. Embrace that. Layer up. When it’s warm, metaphorically speaking, shed some layers and wear something light and new, set down things that don’t serve you and begin acting upon the new things you want to grow. When it is cold, layer back up against the cold, continue to rest and return to stillness. You need not push back and resist. You are not doing it wrong. This is how changes in seasons - both in nature and in our lives - happen. Ebb and flow. 

And I’m not saying you should never judge you, actually, scratch that. I am saying that. That’s wasted energy at best. More accurately I am not saying you should not honestly self examine, to honestly examine your life through a clear lens. I’m suggesting that it’s a question of what’s useful - judgment or discerning. One creates the internal narrative that the natural rhythms I’m living are a sign that I am alien and broken in my own life. The other creates the opportunity to feel the ebb and flow of comfort and discomfort, warmth and cold, and to use it as a map to direct me to what I want to grow and where and when to plant and feed it. 

One last stretch to this particular analogy that’s working for me: allergies. The more spring springs the more my allergies demand attention. That’s often my experience of change, even the most lush and longed for change in my life. At first I have what can well be described as an allergic reaction to that change. I push back, self medicate, stay inside, until finally, joyfully I reach a place with all the blooming when it is safe to go out into the world and to start to smell the flowers. Anyway, point is that feeling freaked out by even the best kinds of change at first makes perfect sense too. So, onward.

Winter calls me to stillness. Spring calls me to growth. I’ll likely resist both. Until I don’t. Happy spring kind soul.

Be good to you.

Brian Perry