Ah, March. We made it through January and February. Winter has been relatively easy this year here in Minnesota, but still talk in the line at the grocery store and post office seems to revolve around an eagerness for spring. This is the time of the year when gardeners plot and plan, even though planting is yet months away. This is the time of the year when mittens are lost and heavy sweaters and coats look tired and dreary. We yearn, it seems, for green, for sprouts, for front step sitting, for asparagus and strawberries, instead of crock pot stews.
We are ready for change, for movement into another season.
The new season will appear, no matter what, but exactly when is out of our control. Eventually, however, there will be the first garage sales of the season, and there will be pussy willows and tulips. There will be umbrellas and rain boots and finally, finally, dry, brown Christmas wreaths and garland will be removed from front doors. And Easter will come, as it does every year -- this year in March. Early. Winter will change into spring.
But what change will you make in March? What change have you made this winter?
My favorite phrase these days is "Nothing changes if nothing changes." How obvious this is, like the title of John Kabat Zinn's book, Wherever You Go, There You Are or another favorite refrigerator magnet, "If you do what you've always done, you get what you've always gotten."
We have no choice but to wait for the new season, but that is not true of everything in our life. We can choose to live more mindfully. We can choose to let go of past hurts and regrets. We can choose to forgive ourselves and others. We can choose to experience each day as a sacred gift. We can choose to give more of ourselves. We can choose to say "yes" to what matters most to us and "no" to what matters most to someone else, but leaves us frustrated and over committed. We can choose to enlist help as we struggle with our demons, our closed doors, and our default responses.
We can choose to integrate a spiritual practice into our life and by doing so prepare for the inevitability of unwanted change.
I tend to hold onto winter for as long as I can. I love this time of hibernation, but, if I were to be truly candid, I might admit that delaying an acceptance of a new season is false security. I know in my soul the only time I have to change and become the person I was created to be is NOW. March 1 seems like a good day to start.
What change will you welcome into your life as you welcome the new season? I would love to know.