As I sit soaking up the sun in my suburban Boston garden, there is still snow on the north side. Winter does not let go easily here in New England. I begin to imagine the spring days ahead when I can work the soil with my hands and plant my tiny seedlings into the deep, dark, rich earth. But I have to wait; it is not yet time. When I’m aware of seasonal rhythms, I can more easily align with the deeper wisdom that exists within. Winter always gives way to Spring. We can trust the seasons and their perfect sense of timing. But when we find ourselves in a transitional moment in our own lives, how do we trust? What do we trust?
Transitions are in-between times; they are periods of waiting. Most of us find it so uncomfortable to wait that we are usually ready to jump right into the next thing. Old job to new job. Old relationship to new relationship. My work consists of supporting and guiding people through this “trepidatious terrain,” as I like to call it. Whether a personal or professional change, I always urge people to take a pause. This pause can have tremendous power in your life because it gives you time for awareness and reflection. Where have you been and where are you going? What do you need to take with you, and what do you need to leave behind?
Transitions are subtle, and change rarely happens overnight. Instead, transitional moments are composed of layers that unravel as quietly and steadily as night merges into dawn. Instead of fearing or avoiding life’s powerful transitions, we can adopt an attitude of trust and surrender to a larger sense of time. We are not in control, but we can create the most supportive, fertile ground to nourish our ongoing change and growth.
When seeds are planted in rich fertile soil, they first make roots that steadily reach down into the earth. Roots must grow first because they provide the strength to hold up the plant as well as to absorb the nutrients to eventually grow the stem, sprouts, and green leaves.
How can we apply this profound wisdom to our own lives? Spring is approaching within us. How fertile is our soil? Which seeds have been sown? Where are our roots growing? Are we paying attention to our own inner rhythms and nourishing our growth so that we can burst forth in the new spring green?
When a seed is first planted, the root growth isn’t visible to the eye. The root is growing in the deep darkness of the soil. How do we know? Because eventually, once the root has taken hold, a green sprout will break through the soil.
Seeds offer us a metaphor for our own lives. Take advantage of this seasonal transition to till the soil of your life. Make it free of weeds and rocks. Fertilize it with extra nutrients and the compost of what no longer serves you. Nourish and water well, and support the tender growths until they are strong and steady. Have patience. In its own time, the spring sunshine will surely melt the winter snow and provide the necessary conditions for the new seedlings to grow into their full potential.