Wag the world how it will,
Leaves must be green in Spring.
NEW LIFE! With the arrival of springtime, we’re surrounded by renewal and the reappearance of life. What has been drab now bursts into color. What seemed to be dead now reasserts itself with greenery and new growth. The warming days invite us to come outdoors and shake off the sleepiness of winter. The world is being reborn once again, and it’s time to stretch ourselves and bring to life the plans we made during winter’s hibernation by the fireside.
It would take a person with a somewhat unusual outlook not to look forward to spring. Most folks are just naturally drawn to it. We may disagree in our preferences for summer or winter, but I don’t recall hearing many people complain about spring. It’s the easiest of the seasons to enjoy. And isn’t that because it’s the season of rejuvenation and new life? Summer is the time of growth, fall is the time of reaping, and winter is the time of reflection — but spring is the time of resurrection! Spring points us forward. It holds promise that in the months ahead we can be more fully alive than we’ve ever been before!
It’s a good thing that spring comes “wag the world how it will,” as Melville put it. The years that we need springtime the most are probably the years that it wouldn’t come, if it were up to us. But we can be thankful that as long as we live and the earth continues to orbit the sun, spring will always give us a chance to make a fresh start.
Most of the renewal we see this time of year is more or less automatic. Maple trees don’t have to think about whether to put forth fresh leaves this spring. Birds, newly arrived from the south, don’t have to decide whether to build nests and lay eggs again this year. But for us, the experience of new life is usually a choice. We have the ability to be renewed at a deeper level than any of the creatures around us, but we also have to exercise a greater degree of volition. Without a conscious choice to grow, our lives tend to decline. If we don’t decide to be refreshed, we won’t be. So while the sap is rising in the world of nature, it’s a good time to make some thoughtful commitments of our own. This spring, in what ways shall we be “new”?
“I’ll turn over a new leaf” (Miguel de Cervantes).