Record lows in January, followed by record highs in February. Out for my morning walk, the air feels soft and spring-like. A chorus of birds attests to it, chattering, chirping, singing. It doesn’t look like spring. The grass is brown, trees are bare. But wait, the smallest limbs have lacy outlines, telltale signs of swollen buds.
A false spring, I tell myself. It can’t last. It’s only Valentines Day. Too early.
Wrong. Two weeks later flowering trees are in full bloom. Daffodils crowd sidewalks and the grass is greening. Several days of gentle rain with temps in the 60s and 70s and spring is off and running.
Still, you don’t trust it. It will surely get cold again, another freeze is inevitable.
And a few days later the temperature does sink to freezing. Now it looks like spring and feels like winter. March has come in like a lion, and it stays that way until the final days of the month when it finally looks and feels like spring, and March leaves like a lamb.
That’s the nature of spring. It starts. It stops. It appears to be winter again—two steps forward, three steps back. But once begun it does not reverse. It will stay the course. It’s not a false spring. It is spring. Not summer yet. Spring.
That’s the way healing and personal growth happens too.
A few weeks minus those awful panic attacks, dark moods or fights with your spouse and you think everything’s good. You see changes in yourself and/or your spouse. Hope blooms.
Then you hit a bump in the road or a full-on roadblock. You have another panic attack. Your mood plummets or a fight erupts. You are tempted to give up. It won’t last, so why bother, you tell yourself. This is what always happens.
That is exactly when it’s most important to stay the course. Take a breath, forgive yourself or your spouse, and determine to stick with it.
Be the spring flowers that will bloom once the sunshine, warm breezes, and spring showers show up. Even if damaged by an unanticipated storm or a late freeze.
Reversals and plateaus are inevitable. But meaningful change and healing will follow as surely as green leaves follow spring blossoms on your favorite flowering trees—if you stay the course.
Take a lesson from nature and keep growing. Because there is no doubt—summer is coming.
I am a North Carolina Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor with 20 years experience in the field and many more years of life experience. I entered the counseling profession in mid-life after putting in time as a stay-at-home mom, a freelance writer, a journalist, and a United States-based missionary. I love walking alongside those who are seeking to find themselves, heal a relationship, or recover from trauma. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, and hanging out with my grandsons.