I went looking for spring today, but winter was the only one willing to show up. The dried leaves swirled around as though in a final dance. The sun played hide and seek with the clouds, so its potential warmth didn’t reach me, disappearing more than out in the open. The wind was brutal and mean, pushing the empty branches to the ground. I tried to go for a walk, but the cold crept through my coat, wrapped itself around my ungloved fingers, leaving them painful. I could only stay outside for a brief time.
That’s why I dislike March-April so much. I call it the season of “almost but not yet.” There is a hint of spring every so often—occasional bits of warm in the air, coming from the south until the north winds knock it back down. I see nubbins of green in my garden where the earliest of the daffodils push at the leaves, I didn’t get raked up last fall. I worry they will come up too quickly and cold nights, temperatures below freezing will kill off the potential flowers.
I get to this time and I am so ready to be done with winter. She seems like a grouchy old lady who doesn’t know that she’s no longer in charge. Instead, she clings, with dry parched skin, twice as hard, teasing the world with little hints of spring, yet unwilling to let go completely. And it feeds into my depression and fires my eagerness. That’s what I imagine . . . a crotchety neighbor.
I am eager. I can almost feel the warm breezes, that will blow through my window, the songs of the birds waking me up from sleep. April is almost as bad. I think because I’m positive spring should be here, no doubts about it. And yet, there is doubt – cold, warm, warmer, cold – and my mood is even grumpier. But at least I can see color, rising up from the browns and grays of the grass and countryside and I feel the twitches of hope rising up that spring really is here. She just lacks confidence in her ability to perform beautifully.
Throughout all of this, I think about this thing called hope. Hope is like the coming of spring. Instead of one day being winter and the next is completely spring, it arrives in tiny nuggets, bringing us slowly with it. Hope moves in the same way. We don’t go from total despair to complete hope – it shows up in the same way as spring – pieces that lift us up. A word from a friend. New information. A sense of calm that touches inner strength to move forward.
My final thoughts are when we think we’re at the end – that spring will never arrive, despair will consume us – may we remember, they are never the final words. Even in the darkest moments of life, we will find the light. Spring does come.