There’s so much happening out there — vaccination conversations, travel trials, return-to-office quandaries — but it’s always a good time to pause, take a deep breath, and — sneeze?
Ah, spring. It’s early May, and the sun is shining warmly, I hear a multitude of bird songs, the trees lining my street are freshly fluffed with newly green leaves, and the ground is damp with early morning rain and what I can only describe as hairball-esque clumps of pollen strands, clinging to the lawn, driveway, and street.
I don’t choose to have a bodily reaction to our Earth’s natural process of pollination, but I do. The trees, plants, and grasses are thriving, and my eyes are swelling shut like Muhammad Ali socked me with gloves covered in… pollen.
I’m lucky to have a backyard filled with a myriad of wildlife; a family of foxes lives right down the way, a growing bunch of deer frequently pass through, flashes of brightly colored birds whiz by, and squirrels will get close enough I can count the hairs on their backs.
At the same time, I’m sneezing in my sleep to compensate for the shedding of life outdoors—nature finds its voice after winter and my throat finds any excuse to cough up the same nature my body rejects. Unsettling sounds and puffy features found on my visage in no way reflect the beauty of spring around me.
In the same way, we can look at Spring as a birth and a death, a beginning and an end. Like most things in life, the ending of something means the beginning of something else. The ending of a season means the commencing of another. The ending of a job brings the possibility of the pursuit of something far better. The natural ending of a relationship, an unexpected shift or adjustment in any aspect of life, takes you on the path to something new, and oftentimes, you may be grateful for the change to help bring you to this new and beautiful arrival. It can bring pain, fear, and uncertainty, but also the possibility of growth, and of finding new strength.
The seasons are cyclical, and the nature beneath our feet is always changing. We’re on a journey through time, through the seasons, through our lives and it’s important to keep in mind the duality, the light and the dark, and that both are part of existence. Being in the middle and watching them both, through my slightly swollen lids, I can appreciate, acknowledge, and stay on the path right between light and dark, spring and winter, and find moments of stillness and gratitude. And allergy meds.