We are all waiting patiently. In some ways it is the darkest time of year, the ground still frozen, the last dregs of dirty snow still piled up on the sides of the road. Spring like days, with their glimpses of warmth to come, taunt us. We are tired of mornings where we can see our breath, zipping up winter coats and fumbling for the gloves we hastily abandoned in the warmer days a week ago. We watch the weather forecast carefully, knowing that 68 degrees turns to 14 degrees in the blink of an eye. Still, we are hopeful; change is in the air.
A few green shoots pop up on the side of the house, tucked into a bit of fresh snow. I don’t know what they are; we have not lived here in the spring. I hope they are daffodils, or maybe crocus. Spring flowers come just when we need them most. Though we think of spring as sunshine and warmth, it is often cold, brown and muddy. Those glimpses of bright yellow or purple remind us that things are going to get better.
Spring is proof that though change is difficult, we crave it. My cats cry at the door to our screen porch. Last summer when we moved here, they discovered that the window sills on the porch were perfect for lounging in the sun. They lazed out there for hours, like tiny zoo animals, happily soaking up the rays. In a moment of optimism, we put our porch furniture back out and spent about ten glorious minutes enjoying a nice afternoon. The cats have not forgotten that brief view of summer and scratch at the door to go out. Finally, tired of the whining, I open the door and let them out. They scurry back in moments later; it is far too cold for leisurely lounging.
Change in our lives is not unlike change in spring. We have a vision for something that we would like. We can see it in our minds. The smell of it hangs on the wind. It is so close we can almost touch it, taste it. Though not real yet, we imagine what it will be like and know that it can happen.
To get to the thing you want, you have to go through change, and change is often difficult. In the past year, I changed almost everything about my life. I had a vision driving me forward, but nothing about the actual change process was easy. Selling our house was hard; we built it and raised our family there. To add to the misery, our house was built on my husband’s grandfather’s farm, a land he loved. Quitting my job was difficult; I loved being a professor, loved my students, and my colleagues. Moving to a new city was challenging. We traipsed through dozens of houses for almost two years and lost two houses before we finally bought our little cottage. It was enough to make us quit, though we didn’t.
Though change is hard, we persevere because getting to the other side is worth it. We celebrate spring though it is often a cruel and unforgiving mistress. We know that the grass will turn green, robins will return, and that we will once again hear the sound of children laughing as they play outside. Every last snow storm, every cold rain takes us one step closer to the days we dream about.
That little crocus will pop up, and when it does, it will remind us that everything worth getting to is just on the other side of where we are now.
“That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea