Parker Palmer had it right, “…there is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck.”
Just yesterday morning, half of the focus of my morning run was avoiding the broken branches and muddy puddles created by the previous day’s storms. It was a mixture of mud and new buds on trees. I remember my spring in Boston when I would step into what I thought was a pile of snow in March. Instead, my foot disappeared into a slush of melting snow mixed with mud- yeck!
The season of spring is about starting and foraying into new things: relationships, exploring new ideas, a new business, planning for the garden, preparing for a move, starting to write a new book or teach a new class. It’s a time of starting and exploring, of excitement and honestly…a ton of frustration.
The ‘muddiness’ of the spring season is mirrored in the frustration and stress of starting something new. Starting things in general leads to a bit of a mess.
I’m starting a new business right now. Life is rather overwhelming with experimenting, planning, meeting new people, sharing what I do with potential people I can serve, reaching out to ask for help and what feels like a hundred other things. The initial excitement of starting has gotten a bit overrun by the growing to-do list and the nagging fear the work won’t pay off.
This is all a normal part of spring, the excitement and the nervousness. Just like when I plant my garden, there is no guarantee the seedlings will come up. I do the work of sowing and planting and watering the baby seedlings, but only time and tending will show what grows and what doesn’t make it.
It terrifies me that the actions I’m taking now could lead to failure, to a garden with no watermelon and zucchini squash and green beans to show for all the work.
In that regard, the actions of spring seem risky, especially if we aren’t comfortable with putting ourselves out there and stepping out into something now!
All this angst begs the question: why keep going at all? This is what keeps me coming out again and again…..I’ll never know if meeting the acquaintance for coffee will turn into the next wonderful friendship……. or if going on the interview will lead to a job…..The date could turn into an amazing relationship……… I’ll never know if the book I’m writing now will open doors to encourage and help other people or if it will simply get buried in the book store.
We are given no promises, just the invitation to play, explore, dive in and discover.
Spring can be terrifying.
And it is also inviting, beckoning and calling us out of our comfortable winter homes.
The beautiful invitation of spring, beckons us with whispers of delight and the promise of adventure no matter the outcome, “Oh, the places you might go, the people you’ll meet, the way you can add to the beauty….come out and play and leave the outcomes to me!”
For the spring season you are in, I hope you take the adventure and let go of needing to know the outcome. Let’s do it together. At the end of our lives, I think we’ll be more satisfied knowing we played in the season of Spring instead of clinging to the certainty of the present.
And who knows the adventures we’ll have!
What do you think?