LESSONS FROM SPRING
As we experience the highlights of spring, it is easy to get lost in the beauty of nature. There are plants growing, birds and squirrels out and about, and greenery all around us.
Below are just a few of the many valuable lessons that I have learned from the change of seasons.
There Is Potential in Each One of Us
When we initially look at a seed within our hands, it seems incredibly small. If we were to cut it up, there would be nothing inside. It often makes me wonder, how could anything of value come from something so small and filled with nothing?
It is true that if we were to keep the seed in our hands or leave it in our pocket, it would remain the way it is. However if plant it in fertile soil, given the appropriate amount of sunlight, and bathe it in some water, in just a few weeks, the seed is able to grow into a sapling. If watered properly and given the right amount of care, the sapling can grow larger until flowers bloom or it grows into a tree.
We also start out like a seed. At first, we are tiny and hardly able to fend for ourselves. Yet, we are filled with the potential to grow into magnificent beings. If given the appropriate amount of care and put into a loving environment, we are then able to develop slowly and bloom into fuller version of ourselves. This is evident in the way that we raise our children, where we can never force them to grow in a certain way; however, we can provide them with the proper guidance and environment for them to develop when they are ready.
On the other hand, this is also true with the way that we treat ourselves. We are filled with potential, and yet it is up to us to make sure we are creating the right environment of peace and love for us to fully grow as individuals.
Life Is Ever-changing
As winter comes to a close and spring begins its course, one of the things that is most noticeable is how life is inherently cyclical. Year after year, from when I was a small child playing in the park during summer mornings to when I was a teenager going trick-or-treating in the fall to today when I am a college student walking across my tree-filled campus in the spring, the seasons have never failed to come and to also go. Just as the sun always rises every morning and comes to rest by the end of each day, so too the seasons arrive and leave every year.
Along with the seasons, we begin to see the cycles of life present throughout nature. We witness little chicks hatching in the spring, learning how to fly in the summer, building nests and staying warm through fall and winter, before continuing the cycle again when they mate and start their own families. We see trees changing colors in the fall and losing all their leaves in the winter before coming back in full bloom and spreading their seeds in the spring and summer.
It is remarkable to see how nature changes and adapts with each season. No matter how bleak the winter is, life always manages to start anew in the spring. Similarly in our own lives, no matter how difficult or hopeless we might feel, it is a lesson in resilience, as life continues to change and bring with it new opportunities for us to grow.
We Are All Connected
In the midst of spring, it is inspiring to witness the movement that is all around us. Flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing about and spreading pollen, squirrels are scouting for where they hid their acorns, and plants are beginning to grow and bear fruit. At an instant, all around us, nature shows that we are all connected. The flowers which bloom provide food for the bees, whose scouting from garden to garden allows for seeds to spread. The trees provide shade for the hatching birds, and the plants bearing fruit provide food for the animals coming out of hibernation.
Every organism plays its part in the overall ecosystem, and spring allows us to see how important each one of us is in giving back to the environment and helping the other beings around us. One has simply to ask any farmer to understand how dependent our entire agriculture is on the power of bees to help in growing the food that our societies rely on.
We Must Bloom Where We Are Planted
While spring is always associated with plants and flowers, not every plant is able to grow during this time. Certain plants which were made to withstand the cold of the winter months begin to wither as the seasons change. What I began to realize from this is that certain circumstances are out of our control.
Some of us are like the spring flowers that are able to spring forth and enjoy the warm seasons, while others are like the winter herbs and vegetables which are able to thrive during the frosty winters. Ultimately, we cannot control the seasons that we are placed in, but just as nature shows us, we can aim to bloom as best as we can whenever the time is right.