“Because it’s springtime and I can!”
You may remember meeting my grandma in an earlier post. The statement above was her response when I asked why she’d made a certain decision. She’s been talking about this choice off and on for years and I wanted to know, “why now?”
I’m not sure I entirely believe her answer, but I am struck by it.
I’ve never been a big fan of new year’s resolutions. Challenging oneself to do something difficult at the start of what I already consider to be the most hateful month (in the northern hemisphere, anyway) has never made a lot of sense to me. But I do understand the idea of wanting to make a change that coincides with a milestone: a birthday, a solstice, a new week, a new season.
If you’ll forgive me for generalizing wildly, Easter and Passover both make me think about what it means to have another chance. And I’ve been thinking about that concept more this year than normal.
If you’re not much for religious holidays, there’s also nature to consider. I’ve felt more observant this year about noticing the grass greening and the tree branches showing early signs of leaves. Perhaps I’m seeing these things because of being outside more than usual (thanks to the magic of dog walking!), but I think there’s something else at play.
After all we’ve been through in the last year, spring feels important. If now isn’t a good time to consider what comes next, when is a good time?
Maybe that question isn’t a welcome one. And that’s okay…I’ve heard bears can be cranky as they’re coming out of hibernation. Similarly, we can cut ourselves some slack for not being entirely graceful about how we move into the next seasons of our lives.
But if there’s one thing I’ve realized in recent months, it’s that I’d rather have some say over what happens from here on. As I daydream about what I’ll plant in my literal garden in the coming weeks, why not also consider what kinds of seeds I’m planting in the more metaphorical aspects of life?
Sure, this analogy is cliched. And this blog post would probably be more interesting if I was willing to publicly pledge some specific things that I’m trying to change. In all honesty, I don’t feel like admitting to those yet. On some days, I don’t even feel like admitting them to myself.
But I am thinking about what I want to see bloom in the months to come. As I eventually come out of hibernation, there are things I’d like to differently. What about you? What will you do? What would you like to see in the first signs of undergrowth?
We can’t be in control of all the forces that affect our gardens. But we are in control of what we plant.