It's Spring: A Time for Courage, Growth, and Change
Wake up to your life's possibilities
Posted May 28, 2013
It was beautiful, though, when we could hit our stride and I could take a second to look up. The Minneapolis skyline is one of the best, and the Southwest corner of Lake Calhoun is a great place from which to see it. A fresh, wet snow pulling on branches makes for a certain kind of precious quiet, and the sun gleaming off the Greek Orthodox church made the promise that the cold is only a season and there is beauty even in winter.
Yesterday, it was already 70 and humid by 8:30am. There was a blanket of flannel clouds above the lake and the city, with the sun's halo around the edges. My Nikes were light on my feet, and the woman with the baying Beagle swooped him up for a time-out before we got close enough to add to the mess. As we rounded the Northwest corner, I noticed all the buds coming in on the brush and trees at the edge of the lake and imagined that in a few weeks, it would probably be so filled in I wouldn't be able to see the water. A thin, fine-boned tree had lime-green baby leaves that were no more than an inch long, stretching out from their branches every foot or so. It was not a full, lush tree yet, but the promise was there. It faced the sun, and the backlight was flattering.
It was a moment in time; this tree would never be this way again for another 12 months. It wasn't finished, but this piece of life was a thing onto itself.
I stifled the impulse to take a picture and post it to the world, and instead let the moment stay with me. I stood there for a few minutes and looked at the leaves, certain I could almost see them change. Now I felt my eyes were scavenging for more signs, more details I may have missed as my greyhound chased her imaginary rabbit around the track.
I could feel a cliche thought forming and I almost rejected it. So much has already been said about trees, growth, and humanity, there is certainly not room for another metaphor, right? As much as I resisted, the thought came anyway. Well, more than just a thought, the faces, lives, wishes, and needs of the people who come to me for therapy filled my mental screen.
I thought about that moment of growth and change, that part of the process that is a thing onto itself, and how often it is missed en route towards a goal.
There is always a winter season that has more work than relief. Try as you may to keep your hands warm, your nose dry, and your dog from running across the frozen lake to knock over a small child who happens to be wearing a furry snowsuit that, we would all agree, makes her look very much like a husky puppy, you hardly get a passing grade and the simple fact that you made it home with no permanent losses will have to be enough of a win.
There are also always summer seasons, in which there is enough light that even after the work is done, there is time to play. The garden overflows, the breeze keeps the bugs away, and suddenly there are people where there used to only be lonely sidewalks.
In Minnesota, spring can be a blink long.
To have permission to be in the moment, to accept the current state of things as a thing onto itself, that there are valuable things to notice as you make your way around the lake—this is the stuff of hope, courage, and change.
Copyright 2013 by Dr. Liz Vogt
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To learn more about Dr. Vogt, check out her website at www.drlizvogt.com