Tanya Ruckstuhl LICSW
Spring is a special time in the Pacific Northwest. It starts with the puffy white cherry blossoms in late February. Then in March the pink magnolia trees bloom and from April on there is a riot of color: red tulips, yellow daffodils, fuchsia camellias, orange rhododendrons, pink azaleas and purple irises. Every empty patch of dirt is overrun with pretty little blue forget-me-nots. Now, even if the skies are gray the ground is a festival of color. We get more and more sunny days. Everyone’s mood lightens.
It seems like spring is the makeup kiss nature offers us for fighting through the darkness of winter. During the dark, cold months its easy to forget this beauty is on its way.
Spring comes regardless of our ability to anticipate it. And so too the overbaked dryness of summer, the wet and windy autumn, and the dark, chilly winter.
American culture is obsessed with the good-time parts of life. Vapid reality shows feature small-minded hotties who have youth, beauty, fame—all the short lived, spring-like parts of existence. (no offense to the flowers—I’d take the companionship of a peony over a Kardashian any day).
The thing about spring is it cannot go on forever. Flowers are plants in heat, spring is a reproductive cycle that costs all the plant’s energy to put on this fancy show once a year. After flowering, the plant must rest and put energy into photosynthesis, growth and roots.
It is natural to delight in the parts of life that are bright and beautiful. We just need to remember that flowers, beauty and youth are all part of a cycle that includes dormancy, decay and death. What goes on below the surface, at the root level is what ultimately determines the health and longevity of plants and people.