Carmen Abner

Making Room for Spring

When I woke up last Saturday morning the first thought in my head was, “It’s time to plant something.”  Before coffee or contemplation of anything else in the day, my entire being seemed to be filled with that sure and certain knowledge that seeds must be sown.  I’m sure it was the angle of the light streaming in my bedroom window and the song of certain birds returning from their winter visiting grounds, and probably the scent of the soil waking up.  That feeling of imminent spring is one of my favorite feelings of all time and this year, unlike some years recently, there was room in my head for spring.  I felt awakened from my toes to my nose and there was a tingle in my mind that has only ever been called forth by spring.

As it turns out, I didn’t plant anything this weekend.  I had forgotten to get my peas and onion sets last week and the ground was really too wet to work.  But that didn’t matter.  What mattered was that there was room in my head for spring.

We all get our heads twisted up and filled with things sometimes.  We have so much to do, so many responsibilities, so many worries and so much to think about just to keep our heads above water.  Some days there is so much in our heads that we barely notice the day at all, let alone the seasons and the changes that they bring.

Whole months have gone by without me really even noticing what’s going on around me, just putting one foot in front of the other and slogging through another day in an attempt to do all the things that must be done.  Then I wonder why I’m tired, why I don’t seem to have any energy for the things I love; things like planting, things like spring.  It’s because there wasn’t any room in my head for them.  I had prioritized a million things but had left out the things that let my soul grow.  We all have something that lets our soul grow and we all find ourselves, at times, prioritizing only the things that don’t.

We do this because of the way we assign value to the things in our life.  We know better but we do it anyway.  We give all of our energy to work or to some distraction or other, to politics, to our fears for the future and we miss the present all together.   We miss the morning pause with that cup of coffee that gives us time to put our day into perspective.  We miss the afternoon walk that used to ground up after a busy morning.  We miss the simple breathe of our days and the company of our loved ones, the laughter of our children, the dreams we used to share with those who matter most in our lives. We push everything else aside as we march, march, march to the beat of that ticking clock. 

We are so busy trying to make a living that we often forget that we are no longer making a life.

It isn’t that our work isn’t important.  Of course it is.  That’s how we put food on the table and get the bills paid and buy that new pair of shoes for the child playing softball this spring.  But we lose sight too many times of the reasons we’re working so hard because there just isn’t room in our heads for it.  We lose sight of the shared meals, the journey of the child, the stories that bind us together.  We lose sight of Spring.

Spring is not just a season.  Spring is any time that we awake to new possibilities of making things grow again – clearing out the old clutter, giving away the things we no longer need to cling to, pruning the dead branches of old dreams that did not serve us and making room for a life that is full of new growth, new dreams and the strengthening of the old roots that hold us firmly to who we are and who we wish to grow to be.

I know it’s hard to find the time to make the room in your head.  I know there are a million things to be thought of, worried about, done and considered.  But, you know, if you think about it, there’s probably a lot in your head that you could do without and there are undoubtedly a lot of things that are more deserving of that space in your head; things like family and laughter and love, things that heal your sorrow and breathe new life into you, things that remind you what you’re working for and what you’re trying to achieve with all this busyness.

Start slow.  Dedicate 15 minutes of your day to thinking about the things you don’t usually take the time to think about.  Take that second look at your spouse or your children every morning and remember all that they mean to you. Look at the people around you, your friend and companions.  Remember why they are important to your life.  Take a moment to spend with that pet that is so devoted to you they can’t wait to see you at the end of a day.  Take the time to watch the sunrise or listen to the wind through the trees.  Take the time to notice that the days are getting longer and the robins are returning. There is promise in the air and hope for a new season if we all just make room in our heads for Spring.

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