Blah. That’s about the best word to describe it. Where I live, winter’s grip is fading, and spring is beginning to take hold. But aside from a few hopeful snowdrops and crocuses, things are looking rather…blah. The grass is still brown, the trees are bare, and mud is everywhere. The last of the snow is melting, leaving behind a bedraggled mess. Earth looks sort of like I do after waking from a long winter’s nap: bleary, disheveled, and not at all ready for the public eye.
Mud and muck everywhere, and not much else: that’s about how I’d seen it for the past week or so. The calendar said spring, but my heart wasn’t in it. I’ve been exceptionally busy lately, and hadn’t paid much attention to what seemed to me to be a rather boring season in the natural world.
Then one ordinary morning, I stepped outside to get the newspaper and BAM. Mama Gaia sort of slapped me on the back of the head. I heard a chorus of birdsong. I paused, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. That loamy, earthy wonderful soggy spring smell hit me in all its glory. Wow. I just sort of soaked it all in until I got so cold I had to go back inside.
I realized that I’d been so distracted that I’d been using only one sense, the visual. I was stuck in a visual rut and didn’t even realize it. Since there was nothing much to see outside, I hadn’t even bothered to check in with my other senses. What else had I missed? What else was right there in front of me while I bustled along in my busy state, unaware?
To get myself unstuck, I had to step out of my preferred sense, the visual. I had to shake myself up a little, and perceive things differently. I had to use other ways of knowing, other ways of being.
Spring is a perfect time to get un-stuck from unhealthy patterns. Know what I mean? We slip into ruts of our own making, into a habit zone (a close cousin to comfort zone) and end up in a place where we can’t see beyond our own noses, much less see the forest for the trees. The comfy habits that may have served us well through the winter (the seasonal winter or our own personal psychological wintertime of rest and healing) may need a little shake-up as we move into the changes of spring. Ask yourself:
Are there areas of my life where I am stuck? What are they?
How did I get to this place in my life?
What about it is comforting? What has become habit?
Once you have a handle on where you are right now, step out the door and spend some time observing the natural world. What’s happening? What is changing? What wisdom does it hold for you? What is speaking to you? It might be a budding tree, a scent, a green shoot, last year’s detritus, a nesting bird, a sound, or even the mud itself. Observe for a while, and simply BE. Then, a few days later, do it again. And if Mama Gaia should slap you on the head with insight, count yourself lucky.
Photo Credit: spring robin by flickr user spaceamoeba at www.creativecommons.org