This morning, when I stepped outside, I caught myself smiling at the little buds of cherry blossom making their way into the world. The temperature was close to freezing but a carnival of natural splendor was in the making. The closed buds of tulips in the front yard; the settled dew on the faint green grass and a naked, luminous sun looked conspicuous as if rehearsing for a magical performance. The sidewalk was filled with lighter jackets and hood-less faces, giggling and walking past with a warm abandon – letting the crisp but promising air brush past their skin.
I can’t sense spring yet but I can see its shadow; feel the tip toe.
Winter has been mild this year, where I live. So far, it has crossed out a few days of unwieldy temperature and a few inches of snow that BTW, killed one of my favorite plants. I have been trying to revive it ever since; watering it on a regular basis; commuting between indoors and outdoors hoping at least a few seeds would have made their way deep into the soil where frost could not have reached. It is my faith that it will sprout back. If not, I know that I tried. I will remember it as a vibrant piece of life as it once was – I have decided not to blame myself or the winter for its poor condition and to keep trying to revive it with love and nourishment. With warmth at close quarters, it is taken care of one way or other.
Like clockwork – seasons change and color or rock our world. Everything comes back and yet goes away – fueling the circle of life. There is beauty in presence as there is a lesson in absence. Nature turns prodigal in one season and economical in the other. While summer seems to bring out its grandiose creations; it is indeed, the winter that keeps its spirit of perseverance unfazed by its external, ever changing face. Seasons work in tandem to give the strength it deserves and the love it needs. As far as I look, there is no blame and no misgiving. There is only restoration and faith, for winter is an integral part of recycling nature as spring is.
Is there a lesson in this constant rearrangement of our universe?
We are born to die. In between, grief and happiness etch our existence on the map of this cosmos. Our job is to do our best to hold our hearts still – beating with hope; pumping wonder and dignity while mindfully chanting the mantra of impermanence – this too shall pass. Just like seasons do, without looking back or complaining.
If the winter of the past season has let you down, let the colorful spring redeem you and bring you back on your feet. Let the silly tradition of moving the clocks ahead by an hour make you smile and longer days make you lazier; dozing in the sun with a newspaper covering your face.
Don’t let happiness be a stranger.
Let the magic of existence grease your wheels.
Let the road of life lead you to transcendence and prepare you for the next change.
In the meantime, let me get back to the dying plant!