It’s All Ahead of Us

I love spring! I think most of us do.

Springtime brings longer days, warm sun, and the regrowth of once-dormant plants. The English Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, penned these words:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze….

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

It’s hard to argue that the sunny yellow hue of a daffodil isn’t the very definition of good cheer, or that a bright blooming bouquet of them doesn’t give our mood a boost. Ah, springtime, here at last.

The temperature is still cool enough, so I want to spend more time outside feeling the warm sun, as I prop up my feet and read a book. We tend to be demanding about the weather and its window of acceptability. I’m no exception.

I’m learning the names of flowers––these are Chinese peonies and bearded irises:

(Also see Virginia bluebells (and daffodils!) on my Instagram post. )

I’m learning to enjoy pulling the weeds that are ubiquitous in Virginia, if not dealt with early and severely.

The blackberry brambles are sprouting their new year’s leaves. And baby strawberry plants, barely poking through the dirt, belie the fact that strawberry jam-making season is only weeks away. Already, we can enjoy freshly-picked butter lettuce and spinach for salads.

The cows are back in the nearby pasture, with their baby calves in-tow. All the while, the birds sing, the bees buzz, and the popcorn-like blossoms pop on the apricot trees. My heart exults, full of hope and the spirit of renewal.

I do need to step back and acknowledge that much of the world is still in the grip of the Covid pandemic, far more, than we are, here, in our corner of rural Virginia, USA. My language of hope and renewal is not intended to minimize that awful fact.

Typically, however, spring is the launching point for a new curve, new growth. It is full of splendid, tantalizing possibilities. As a friend of mine says about April 1st each year, “It’s all ahead of us.” The spring equinox can feel like the real New Year’s Day, much more than the often dreary day that inaugurates January. We never say, “in the dead of spring,” like we say, “in the dead of winter.”

In spring, we plant seeds that will grow to fruitfulness in the sweet spot of summer. In autumn, growth will slow, and then stop, as full maturity yields to decline. Winter brings the big step back, while the world rests and waits for the return of resources—warmth, light, and water—that will fuel the charge up a new S Curve of growth.

I also recognize that the world that lies south of me is in autumn and headed toward winter. Though these seasons lack the glitzy potential that characterizes springtime and the fructuous crowning glory of summer, those seasons are just as integral to the cycle of our lives. Like our personal S Curves, nature plays host to launch-points, sweet spots, fulfillments, and decline; and steps back to grow again. It’s always all ahead of us.

Our guest on the podcast this week is Erica Dhawan, author of the soon-to-be-published Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance. She’s here to help us understand how to communicate effectively in a digital world where our body language doesn’t carry its traditional share of the communication load. How do we talk to each other, and how can we signal that we truly see each other, despite the screens that separate us, even as they connect us? It’s a very important subject! Please join us for Erica’s insights.

So happy you are here!

My best,

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