It's almost the first day of spring and I'm incredibly ready for it to be here. I pulled my bike out again for the first time since fall the other day--I was so excited! Here in New Jersey it's dry and still kind of cold, sunny but still brown and dead-looking. It's much different from what I'm used to in Oregon, where it's gray and rainy about now, but the grass is green and leaves are probably already coming on, and the evergreens are of course still green. In Oregon I wouldn't be riding a bike yet, but I also wouldn't still feel like everything's dead--there would be early spring flowers and leaves everywhere (although they may have died last week with their freak snow storm!).
I have seen a few flowers here already, though! On the bike path there was a strip of daffodils and I stopped and picked some to bring home, and already it feels more like spring. But I was riding my bike to meeting today past three fields of brown stubble with trees brown and barren and wondering if spring is ever going to get here.
There's something incredible about the waiting, though, and I've been trying to enjoy the anticipation and longing, and seeing what it has to teach me. It's a ruminating time, a time of seeming dormancy, a calm before the explosion of new life that will soon come. I notice myself waiting and longing with an aching sense of desire for regeneration in myself, not just in the landscape.
I'm not sure why the year begins on January 1--I think it should begin with spring, because that's when things really become new. I'm much more interested in New Year's resolutions now, and I might actually keep them for a while--like getting exercise, because I can ride a bike!
I never used to really appreciate the seasons much, just kind of experienced them as they came. But now I notice them (maybe because there are actually four seasons here), and the rhythm of the seasons reminds me of the embodied person that I am, who needs change, new life, death, times of waiting, times of energy, harvest and planting and fallowness.
In Hebrew we translated Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 the other day (which was nice because it's very repetetive so it wasn't very hard!), and it reminded me of these seasons and the patient cycle of it all. So here's Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (Cherice's version) to meditate on as we await the spring.
For everything there is an appointed time, and a season for each pleasure:
a season for bearing, and a season for dying;
a season for planting, and a season for uprooting plants;
a season for killing, and a season for healing;
a season for breaking down, and a season for building up;
a season for weeping, and a season for laughing;
a season for lamenting, and a season for skipping joyfully;
a season for casting stones, and a season for gathering stones together;
a season for embracing, and a season for being distant from embracing;
a season for seeking, and a season for losing;
a season for keeping, and a season for throwing away;
a season for rending, and a season for sewing together;
a season for being silent, and a season for speaking;
a season for love, and a season for hate;
a season for battle, and a season for peace.