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It was 17° when I walked outside yesterday, and though the air dropped as I drove down into the valley, it still felt warm at 9° after the subzero temperatures of the past week.  This morning, too, is mild, but unlike the last two days of sun, the sky is muted gray.  The air feels heavy with water as the trees slowly drip melting snow onto the roof, and in the soft gray warmth of the morning, the chickadees’ calls sound somehow casual, as if they, too are lazily waking from sleep.

It’s the first day of spring, and as the equinox marks a noticeable shift in the daylight and length, I am also feeling a shift within me.  My internal landscape mirrors the external, and the sun is reaching its rays through the tangled briars and frustration to loosen their thorns and turn their energy instead to blossoming.  I find happiness in simple things again–a quote on my tea bag, “Inspiring others towards happiness brings you happiness,” brings a smile to my face; the feel of potting soil on my hands enlivens me; the thought of seedlings emerging in a few days propels me forward with hope and grounds me at the same time.  It will likely be weeks before the snow really starts to melt, but I feel spring waking up nonetheless.

This morning I am thankful for winter’s lessons, though they were hard to learn at first, and I am thankful for the optimism of spring and the new growth this season always promises.