Spring is in the air. Oh, yeah, and some ash too. Poor Europe. Who knew that Iceland could cause so much havoc in the world? Little unassuming Iceland. With it’s broken economy and disconsolate citizens. It’s almost as if that volcano was shouting for the populace “Hey! Over here! You wanna talk about bad economic times! You wanna see a financial meltdown, I’ll show you! There, how’s that? I’ll just shut down all tourism for a few weeks and see how y’all feel about that!!”
Well, maybe they don’t actually sound like their from Brooklyn, but I kinda feel like they could. It’s a crazy time in the world. Earthquakes, a volcanic eruption and taxes. Take your pick. They all feel a bit sad and unnerving.
I guess that’s what spring is all about. Change and growing pains. All that pushing from underground upward to catch some rays. Can’t have the blossom without some pain. I keep remembering a poem I read long ago about green shoots that tenaciously grew up from the muddy ditches on the side of a lonesome highway. And how no one stops to clear the weeds and encourage them to grow. No one stops to marvel at their beauty and strength. Except the author. In the still moment of a journey he or she paused long enough to look and witness and then write a sweet, small acknowledgement of life returning to the landscape.
Sometimes I feel like that simple act of witnessing has within it the seeds of revelation and revolution. If I stop and actually look at what grows from the cracked sidewalk I can be mezmerized and profoundly moved. I am struck by the courage and resolve of a tiny plant that breaks open the hard concrete surface of a walkway. Thanks to my daughter, I spend a lot more time observing things close to the ground. She sees everything and takes the time to stop, pause, investigate, wonder and then move on. It’s called toddler time.
In toddler time, the most important element is spontaneity. The wonderful ability to move and be moved by what’s right in front of you. And stay with it until your done. So what if your Mama and Mamie are running 15 minutes late? So what if the store closes in 10 minutes? You have the absolute right to sit down in the middle of the stairs and investigate the lint in your navel.
So now, here comes spring jogging along with it’s new track shoes on. It looks so pretty and sprightly. Dressed in pink and green! Kinda makes my head swoon. And I just want to skip and jump and run with it. But wait, the toddler says stop , hold on, check this out! Look, right there. Down in the mud. There’s a little green shoot just peeking out. It’s just the faintest tendril of a wildflower. And I stop and we kneel and bow down to the small and the enormous and the courageous and the tenacious hope that grows right under our feet.