What is it about this time of year? Waking up to a thousand birds who are searching and chirping away madly for The One (or at least this year's One), noticing a new unexpected bloom every day, freeing toes from their airless woolen tombs, seeing the children's bodies anew--freshly stripped of coats and heavy clothes--seemingly longer and leaner with each passing spring day. Spring! It somehow manages to astonish and surprise, despite the fact that you have been hungrily anticipating it for weeks. It is simply that extraordinary, watching the world wake up.
But it's also cruel, right? In this warming time, March may as well be April. Spring stirs me up. Mike has been on his spring break from St. John's, and we are reveling in this sweet time together as a family. It has afforded us the opportunity to stand back, look around, and reflect: are we living in a way that is harmonious with our values, our vocations, our desires?
These conversations have been so satisfying and clarifying - you really need a break from regular life to have them - but I am also aware of how they've opened me up to an unknown future and its many potentialities. We always seem to be in midst of some kind of transition or another (jobs, children, homes, towns) and I've been professionally uncertain since staying home with the kids, so maybe we're strangely used to what-comes-next mode. Maybe its an irrepressible American-ness, a cultural DNA that gives rise to these waves of restlessness and wanting. Or maybe its just spring, and the birds' urgency is contagious.
My Buddhist-leaning friends might advise me to kick the desiring habit. Maybe I should. But the truth is I'm attaching to wanting more. I want so much! It animates me in ways I don't understand, and probably undermines me in ways I don't understand too. Ah well. I guess Nirvana will elude me this time around.
This spring I'm aiming for a tricky balance between remaining open to the pleasures of the present moment and honoring the deep-down desires for work, family, growing, and making that get noisy at this time of year. Here's hoping that thinking about the future needn't get in the way of enjoying sweet sights, like my children snuggled on the couch reading together.
Happy spring, everyone!