I live in one of those East Coast cities that was blanketed in snow over the last few weeks. It has been so bad that public transportation almost shut down twice and my classes have been cancelled on numerous occasions (a much bigger deal in college than in high school). But this weekend, it has been lovely. There’s snow on the ground, but I’ve thrown open my windows to let fresh air and bird song into my bedroom. Despite having massive amounts of procrastinated homework and bills to be paid, I’m in a great mood.
Because Spring is coming. I can feel the shift in seasons in my bones, and you better believe I am ready for it.
Followers of Earth-based spiritual paths–or anyone who spends a lot of time in nature–have a strong affinity for the shift in the seasons. It just comes naturally when connecting with the elements or planning a garden because these observations become invaluable to the practitioner. For those who follow the Wheel of the Year, the changing seasons reinforce and inspire the theology of the Eight Sabats. Part of the celebration inevitably becomes wrapped up in what we see out our windows and in our supermarkets. It’s why pumpkins decorate our altars at Samhain and flowers at Beltane. Even Starbucks capitalizes on changing seasons with Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Peppermint Mochas at certain points of the year.
But what is so special about the shift from Winter to Spring? It happens every year. The birds always come back, the snow melts, and plants begin to grow again. The simple answer is, well, it just is. Winter can be harsh and a reminder to some that this life does end. But when Spring comes with a strong sun and new growth, we are reminded that things always change. Even the bleakest situations never last forever. The balance of dark and light and middle is ever evolving. So as the days get longer and warmer, embrace this time as a new beginning.
© Ariadne Woods