Seasonal changes can facilitate mindfulness. As the weather changes, so does our perspective. Springtime, in particular, is a wonderful time to become more aware of the growth and life that surrounds us.
Yesterday, on my way to work, I paused by a cafe in order to tie my shoe. As people rushed around, I looked up at the ragged tree next to me. Initially, I dismissed it as a dirty mess of barren branches, seemingly devoid of life. (Not very mindful, huh?) Looking more closely, I noticed many small bumps on the branches, especially at the tips. These "bumps" actually were tightly curled, greenish-brown buds. A sign of spring! Gazing at the nascent buds provided a moment of stillness, which grew into an optimistic feeling of hope and renewal. Altogether, it was quite a nice experience, prompted by an untied shoelace.
So, as you walk outside today, emerge from the visual stupor of winter, and take in the signs of the spring. Pay particular attention to the trees and bushes around you. Is this the same tree or bush that you've seen all winter long, or is there something different about it? Looking at the hedges around your office building, you might see bright green tendrils reaching skyward. A close examination of the sidewalk might reveal some tender blades of grass. Or, as you pass underneath a tree, you too might see the buds of leaves and flowers yet to come.