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Spring Unfolds in Quotations, Reflections, and Photographs

Springtime renewal in quotations, reflections, and photographs of roses.

Source: Pixabay

I’m seeing the first signs of spring in my neighborhood. I love the transparency of new leaves—how the sun shines right through them. Even though our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are coming to the end of summer, not winter, I hope everyone will enjoy these quotations, reflections, and photographs.

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart. —Rainer Maria Rilke

And here’s one of those poems—by Percy Bysshe Shelley

And Spring arose on the garden fair,

Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;

And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast

rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. —Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard’s Egg

This quotation from Canadian novelist, Margaret Atwood, may sound like it’s addressed to children, but I hope that all of you will smell like dirt—at least your hands—by the end of one of these spring days.

Source: Pixabay

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"... It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine... —Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Spring comes, grass grows by itself. —Seung Sahn

Readers of How to Be Sick will be familiar with Korean Zen master Seung Sahn’s Don’t-Know Mind practice. Here he’s reminding us that we need not interfere in everything. I’m working on this in my own life. I have a tendency to want to fix everything for my loved ones instead of letting them experience life “growing by itself.” I write about this in my new book, How to Wake Up, where I refer to myself as a “recovering fixer.”

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. —Henry Van Dyke

This is true in the relatively mild California climate where I live, so it must be true elsewhere!

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. —Mark Twain

Every year, I forget that spring doesn’t just mean warm sun. The wind whips up. The rain falls. It can be as cold as winter in the shade. (And give Mr. Twain a gold star for mindfulness!)

Perhaps the earth can teach us

As when everything seems dead

And later proves to be alive.

—Pablo Neruda

In the Fall of 2011, we lost the big hackberry tree in our front yard. In January 2012, in its place, the city planted a small cherry tree. It stood in the ground, looking like a lifeless stick. In fact, I wondered if it might not have died. Then one day, from my living room window, I spotted a few specks of green. I went outside to see what they were, and there were the beginnings of tiny leaves on the branches. Within days, it was sporting four exquisite and delicate pink blossoms. So, whenever you feel defeated or hopeless, know that at any moment, from deep within, you may burst forth with new life.

Source: Pixabay

All beings are flowers


In a blossoming universe.

—Soen Nakagawa

I love this poem from Zen master Soen Roshi because it’s a reminder that all of us can blossom, which to me means fulfilling our potential as caring and compassionate human beings. Reading this poem always brings a slight smile to my lips—as slight as the tiny flower buds that emerge in springtime.

And finally…

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” —the wonderful Robin Williams

© 2013 Toni Bernhard. Thank you for reading my work. I'm the author of three books:

How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers (Second Edition) 2018

How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide (2015)

How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow (2013)

All of my books are available in audio format from Amazon,, and iTunes.

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