It’s Spring yet a little longer. Life is joyfully reinventing itself after the wintry pall of inactivity and seclusion. The Mississippi kites have returned, soaring nearby with their unique whistling call. All the birds, are nesting and raising young ones. The salvia, Mexican heather, and mini-roses are blooming, so dainty and dignified in shade and sunlight. The sage plants are making beautiful purple spires, swaying in the intense winds to which we are accustomed at this time of the year. The oregano is long and lanky, about to flower unless I intervene and gather stems to dry for herbal tea and healing oil.
The beloved bald cypresses on campus –I call them ‘mine’ although I don’t own a speck of real estate on which they stand. They are mine in all their changing seasons. This one is the most joyous when their ferny limbs re-feather after a winter of being stark sticks.
Perhaps you feel as I have, like a bit bare on resources, in need of re-feathering. Life is re-booting everywhere and we enjoy watching the changes. And we try to take advantage of mild temperatures to walk and picnic while we can…before chiggers, mosquitoes and ants descend in awful armies…sort of an inner urgency to make the time count– turn from rigid routines and break out into creative changes. Once the blistering summer sun comes, most will scuttle indoors again.
So what about this deep place in our unconscious depths longing for a re-make of ourselves? Our thoughts are fidgety, fleeting, emotions undefined, like invisible wild winds rippling through grasses flung like long hair out over a field.
Restlessness in all of us. Will we pay attention to the soul’s cry? Spend a bit of our precious moments to reflect on why we feel this way? Or will we just bury ourselves in busyness and temporary pleasure tasks?
This spring restlessness. Not just for school children and college students, weary of books and sitting. I see and hear plenty of that. But there is this longing for something different from a subtle, slight depression and outright boredom that’s afflicting many of us at least some of the time.
Consider the good side of this: there’s a gentle whisper from God inviting each of us out of our carefully constructed lives and into a dream place, lively as butterflies lighting on every blossom that they can touch.
An invitation to go still. Watch nature and play with possibilities. You have a purpose and it’s not just to mark the minutes with knocking off items on a to-do list. You have real talents that give you joy to express, that bring joy to those around you in need of what you have to offer. What are they?
Be brave as the birds that return every year, to build nests anew, to bear new life. Break out of stale patterns. Stop running to the next gadget, website, store. Rest in a garden. Hide in the overarching arms of a grove of trees. Ask God what am I called to do at this season of my life? What is my purpose for now?
Whatever it is, it will kick boredom out and settle satisfaction into every pore of your tender, true self.
Frederick Buechner, famous author and theologian said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”
God has something to say to you. Let Him say it by giving Him a little time and some deep attention. What you hear may surprise you. Delight you. It may be as simple as what I heard to go and gather bouquets of wildflowers with our young ones. It may be life-startling—quit your job bound to the agendas of others and begin a fresh work that’s no one’s agenda, but yours and God’s.
I’m being re-born one moment at a time, grateful for the good and beauty around me, yes, in the midst of suffering, of the sorrows of misunderstanding and being misunderstood by those I love most, of losses of many kinds but so many gains…even the simple gift of a cardinal bright red on the far-flung bush.
There is purpose in it all. The world of the Spirit is teeming with life and shining brilliantly all around us—even if we aren’t aware every moment.
We do catch gleams of wonder occasionally. Especially when we stand still, when we take time to give deep attention to something or someone.
So it’s Spring for just a little longer. Our time to re-boot. Then perhaps we can plunge into the depths of summer with the best we have to offer and receive the same.