Yet I always happily get into the full swing of spring! I love spring! Rebirth! Freshness! Coming to life again! The cycle of Nature’s life coming full circle to show us that no matter how dreary the winter (of our discontent?) has just been, all things will once again start over, grow again, pop up from the barren earth into the eye-catching, mind-delighting colorful design of all that Nature has in store to give.
Viewing life through the lens of the TV and video cameras, as they capture all the misery of life and bring it up close and personal to our television and computer screens, day after day, one might find it difficult to appreciate the coming of spring, as if, “How can I even care about spring? Look at the state of this nation, the world! Look at the mess this country is in! Look at the problems we have right here in this town! Look at my own life! Look at the murder trial of Jodi Arias as we speak – how are we to understand a woman who stabs her lover 29 times, shoots him, and even tries to behead him, and yet claims she loved him unconditionally? How do we understand the cop in NY who’s been on trial for his addiction to fantasy websites that cater to those wanting to eat their victims! How do we reconcile anything life-giving with the situation regarding the 12-year-old boy who was on life-support after “just” being in a fight at school, and his father had to make the decision to pull the plug, knowing there was no hope for his only child? How can we ever feel happy and at peace in a world where people hurt each other; don’t seem to care about each other; where devastating things happen as a result of what other people do; where governments at any level pass laws or make policy for the detriment of the many, and lie through their teeth to the people they are supposed to serve and protect? How can we ever feel the peace in this world that is filled with so much pain, suffering and ill will? And it’s a very valid compound question. Yet if the only way we viewed anything was through the lens of those capturing the dark side, even birth itself would be seen as a major source of pain; as the beginning of an uncertain future filled with the possibility for pain and suffering and failure. Yet this is the very point of life, of “spring”: The possibilities of the unknown, of going forward, of having a new day in which to see those possibilities and start over.
It is never easy to look past one’s personal and present tragedy and pain. Yet experiencing it is apparently something that is necessary
for the human soul, the human spirit, to grow. Consider for a moment the child born into such “comfort” that he never has to want for
anything; has all his friends screened in some way to avoid any “bad company” slipping through; has his future “protected” with plans for
Harvard (totally paid), doors that will be opened to him thanks to his father’s name (and money); a great job with prestige and benefits up
the wazoo on the horizon, regardless of the grades he gets in school; and on and on. Perhaps such a one may be able to build character and
compassion for others in spite of his unchallenging childhood, yet without having learned what pain and need feels like, it is possible that such a “blessed” child will not be tuned in to the needs and feelings of others.
There are many examples of how having everything that seems to be a good thing, or a blessing, can actually work against us in the long
run if we consider the quality of our inner self, the part of us that makes up who we really are. We wouldn’t be very popular if we went around telling others that adversity, suffering, facing challenges and setbacks and difficulties – and maybe even “failing” at what we want
most – is a “good” thing and something on which we should thrive because there is something far more important beneath the whole
situation. Yet even if we believed that, and did tell that to others, how does that help anyone at the times they are down, and feel that
nothing else matters anymore? How does that help anyone want to go on when they are feeling at their worst?
It would be really great if I had the absolute answer to that and to similar questions. But whether or not any words I have are useful to
anyone, there are words that are not intended to just pacify someone in the throes of absolute misery, words that might perhaps suggest
something that can help a person go on in spite of everything, or anything.
Spring is a reminder of life, of starting over. This year’s spring can even remind us of other springs we have lived through, perhaps as a
child, perhaps when we felt happy. Such memories are good, and are our kind companions on the road of life. But the really big thing about
spring is that it shows us that we – all of nature – go through cycles and eventually come back to another beginning; that nothing stays the
same; even decay becomes fertilizer for the growth of something else.
For those who cannot imagine or envision a life beyond this one, I will agree that life’s tragedies may seem all the worse for the overwhelming sense of loss that such a one might experience. Yet even in this life alone, life must go on. Beauty will make itself known and we would do well to notice it. A little flower will poke its head out of the cold, hard, barren-looking earth when it is once again time for life to blossom, sometimes even “forcing” itself through the concrete sidewalks of the city, showing the energy of its little life-force.
Fields come alive with color, and leaves begin to fill in the spaces between the limbs of the trees. Birds chirp and sing, whether they know of our misery or not.
But in simple terms, it is precisely when things are at their worst, when life seems to be one heavy burden after another, and pain seems to be one’s middle name, that we NEED to let some beauty into life.
Some no-agenda, wants-nothing-from-you beauty. It was the light-hearted, no-heavy-thinking-required movie filled with beautiful scenery and beautiful clothes and happy, uplifting music that people wanted to see during World War II.
Yes, we all need to accept and mourn our losses. And we need to be realistic about our plight in life – if indeed we have a “plight” –but here’s the thing: Everybody needs a touch of beauty, and a bit of hope, and a chance to try again or even start again. And as long as there’s life at all, we need to believe in that hope and see that possibility for another chance.
It’s called life. And that’s what spring is all about!