This year was not an unusually dark winter. However, I still struggled with it. The first week of the year started with a big disappointment, and from there I curled back into my little den to fight off the remainder of the season, full of self-doubt, guilt, and sadness. I took the time I needed to recover, to sleep through the night again, and to heal – something many of us don’t have the privilege of time and space to do. And while I’m not yet ready to talk openly about what happened, I think we can all understand growth after life-changing events.
As winter has turned into this glorious spring, I am feeling invigorated. Like I too am coming out of winter. There’s pep in my step, the sun feels like a mother’s warm, encouraging touch, and I feel as happy as I’ve ever been.
But that’s the funny thing — I’m always feeling reborn. Always emerging from the seed. As if I’m never really whole just yet; waiting on those last few leaves to unfurl, those last flowers to bloom.
A year ago I planted a climbing rose bush in a large pot, excited to see it grow up a metal trestle in a winding, romantic fashion. It grew, just as I had hoped, but it never bloomed. I thought a lot about those roses. About the symbolism of not blooming. About how I often felt like that: a pot full of rich soil, a bright sun over my head, and yet still I am unable to produce a beautiful expression of all that effort. But the rose bush grew. And it grew. And though it didn’t flower, it became strong.
It was too late though, I had already lost faith, and as winter ended, I thought I should uproot the roses and plant them elsewhere, nurturing something new in the place where they once tried to grow. Then spring came. With it brought new life, and as I looked at my withered rose bush – the one I didn’t bother to tie up for the winter, the one I left for the insects to ravage – and it was growing. A feverish eruption of brilliant green leaves had taken over the stems, and like a phoenix it was revived.
I need to look at myself like that. We go through cycles of change, of stasis, and tremendous growth, but patience has never been my forte. I’m already settled on giving up when the plant needs a few more years, a few more growth spurts, and roots toughened from enduring rough winters. I’m not sure if my roses will bloom this year, or the next. All I know is I can give it what it needs, fight against insects or summer’s constant drought, and hope for the best. I can’t think about the bloom. I just have to watch it grow and let that be enough.
Do you feel reborn and invigorated by spring? How do you come alive again after a rough patch, or the darkness of winter? Share with me in the comments below!