So, spring has peeked its head around the corner this past week, giving us here in Quebec a small taste (very small!) of things to come. It raises our level of anticipation. We look out the window for small signs; we wander in the garden – well, the area that will be the garden when the snow leave and the earth warms – looking for small specks of new green, signalling that the earth is warming just enough for the hardy to push above the still solid earth. If a small snow flower should be sighted, we rush to tell others, sharing the joy of a new season coming on us. We wait. Hardly patient, barely able to restrain ourselves from taking a shovel and scraping the remaining foot of snow from the lawn, we wait. And anticipate.
I know I don’t need to make the connection for you to our work with young people and their families. It is an easy leap – whether you go to the area of waiting, anticipation or new beginnings. Or even the impatience that causes us to want to scrape away the layers of protective covering in our rush to uncover and move on.
But less obvious perhaps is the noticing of how central we are to this experience. How nature offers itself for what it is, and we impose ourselves on it. Trying somehow to will it to be something other than what it is; distancing ourselves from the experience of ‘what is’ by trying to move into ‘what might be’. But nature will change to spring only at it’s own pace, in spite of my efforts to rush it along.
So, what’s to do? Get frustrated? Wish for tomorrow? Enjoy today?
It’s always a choice we make, and fortunately the changes of the seasons come with regularity, reminding us all of how, really, insignificant we are in the end.
So I won’t go out and try to shovel the remaining snow from the front yard. But I will, perhaps, join with the process of transition and carve a little trench in the snow so that, as it melts, it has an easier task flowing one way than the other. A little guidance offered in the hope that it might be taken. And then I’ll watch and reshape that trench as necessary, working with nature as it makes its changes. Hopeful.
And there’s not much more I can do.
Except to know, because we do know these things,
that spring will come.
Rosemere, Quebec, April 2005