The Paradox of Spring



Paradox: any person, thing or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.


One of my favorite movies is The Power of One. During this coming-of-age film about race relations in South Africa during WWII (from a white boy's perspective), a wise grandfather says, "anything in life, any question you have---always find the answer in nature."

I often think of this wisdom when I'm feeling challenged by something that I can't explain or solve.

Just this past week, Mother Nature humbled me with her wisdom once again. I was battling some profound restlessness and dis-ease of my spirit. I am going through some massive transition in my life and was really struggling in the transition zone---that place between the past, the present and wanting to know what the future will bring. Futile yearning, that. We can't possibly know anything other than the present moment. But I still wanted TO KNOW. I wanted things TO CHANGE.

I noticed this restlessness, how it did feel just like a coiled spring inside of me. I saw how my response to it was playing out in my life--most especially how my perfectionism manifested and how I tried to control people, places or things outside of myself. I saw this. I recognized it for what it was, but not before it taught me a valuable lesson. Spring is a paradox of sorts.

We equate the word spring with sudden movement, abrupt change in location or reality. But the spring I notice around me and within me isn't happening suddenly---it is happening slowly, one tiny bud opening, one blade of grass sliding from up from the ground, quiet, humble. No rush. No urgency. But intentional. On schedule. The beauty of spring comes from us gradually moving from stark, bare branches and barren ground to buds of light green, warmer air and the visible proof that change is upon us. The dark cold is over, new life is here and brings with it a feeling of hope, wonder and gratitude.

The restlessness that felt like a coiled spring inside of me is the perfectly-timed change that is occurring below the ground, at the tips of tree branches and within all of us. 

I've always enjoyed the spring season because sunlight and warmth boost my mood and I move from commuting by bus to gliding along the streets on my beloved bike. I shift my eating habits. I come out from hibernation and move around more. This spring, of the year 2012, holds a lot of significance for me. I am using these weeks, days, hours and moments to mimic the magic of nature all around me. I am allowing buds of awareness to come forth, blades of grass to come up from the ground slowly as I recognize that nothing in nature happens overnight. Nothing within me or anyone changes overnight. Nothing in our lives shifts so abruptly.

The paradox of spring is that it isn't springing at all--it is coming into awareness slowly, with intention, with awareness----renewal of self and spirit happens one breath and one bud at a time.