Turn off the clock and look at those tree branches, and feel the wind blowing through them. The outdoors provides the lungs of life. Each day what is outdoors vitalizes my life, with breath, space, and an exhalation into a wider world. That is so much why it beckons one to walk, to feel my feet upon the earth, my eyes to what is near and what is at the horizon.
Every day its show unfolds. We miss so much if we simply walk past the life before us…the peace, beauty, the manifestation of time and seasons. Recently, I walked at the college campus I’ve come to think of as one of my central parks. Suddenly, the sight apprehended me, the bright yellow of a flowering bush along the big pond. It caught me by surprise and created delight. I looked closely at each yellow bud-burst, shooting with abandon and order, simultaneously. The bright yellow was my first sighting of the spring flowering.
I couldn’t have predicted it nor timed its particular day of arrival in this little corner of the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the unusual warmth of late winter pushed the buds to burst earlier than usual. A cold snap in the Northeast, complete with snow, followed the early blossoming. (This caused some concerns about possible damage to the trees.) The exact timing of the buds and blossoms are the new season manifesting, in ways we can observe and learn from but not control.
Thus, this yellow flowering teaches about life’s bounty and gifts each day – if we receive them. Many of us have that first sighting, or perhaps smell or touch, that expresses spring’s arrival. It may be forsythia blooming or several robins returning to the park or backyard. What is yours? Does it vary from year to year?
All we need to do is watch this life, this season, unfold before our eyes. Ultimately, seeing, looking at things beyond ourselves, and taking in beauty and change shape us. Observation – being still and looking, quieting our internal chatter and questions – makes us fuller and more attuned to the Divine. It speaks of a force and energy, beyond ourselves, providing so much to us each day.
Sometimes, what is in that moment is all we can hang on to. Observation helps us to be more open and compassionate, more aware of what others are going through and of a wider existence, much of it beyond our exact understanding.
Spring is resilience and regeneration. Even the most worn and gnarly bush has new, lush growth. Is this not like ourselves? We are tempered, even battered by life’s struggles at times, but we can, indeed, survive, grow, and find new forms of being.
This can be difficult through loss, grief, and life’s questioning. Even a single flower or blossom signifies life’s cycles and its insistence and mystery. It’s what the trees and plants express each spring, what they know and why my eyes are lifted toward them in awe.
More Spring Meditations
Here are a variety of prior posts exploring spring, on Mindfulwalker.com: