In bloom

Ah, spring. There you are.  It's been a long time coming in Michigan this year but it never fails to amaze me to see the new life, the growth that has occurred even when the ground appeared void of life. And you can see that even the trees here aren't yet filled out as we are still in early spring.  The spring doesn't come in a blaze of glory as it did in GA where I grew up or in NC where we lived for five years. Instead it's a slow burn...signs of life appear once I slow down enough to open my eyes to them. Tiny buds on branches, the tips of crocuses peeking through the ground, all a reminder that the seeds have been busily working in the soil, receiving nourishment invisible to the human eye. And if I think about it, the winter personally for me was life-giving in its own unique way...the quietness of deep winter after the holidays gave our family space to breathe before the busyness of spring sports and activities, the warmth of the fireplace brought daily gratitude for the hearth, hosting a myriad of family and friends over the past few bitterly cold months brought a sense of coziness and joy into the home. The intensity of winter brought focus to my work, visions were seeded to several projects that I needed to start before spring began.  January brought us a new babysitter who at one point was a stranger, but through daily life and hospitality and many games of Ticket to Ride later, is now considered part of the family, attending my son's second grade play tonight on her own volition. So much growth in such a short time; winter is indeed magical. And now we herald a time of new beginnings.  In a college town, spring is synonymous with farewells and fresh starts: nests are built, and the hatchlings are pushed out. I witness my kids rushing to put on sandals, shoes, and shirts they haven't worn since the fall that now feel too snug, too tight.  Again, growth, some lessons painful, others fruitful. But all in all, now a chance to turn our faces to the sun and bloom.