Guest column: We’re ready for spring

“April showers bring May flowers.”

Aren’t we all ready for spring?

Living in the Illinois Valley, we experience all four seasons although some sure feel longer than others. By April, the charm of winter’s coziness and cocooning has worn off. We are tired of eating chili and scraping ice off the windshield. And we cannot wait to open up the house windows to usher in a fresh breeze.

Oh, how ready we are for change. We need the moderation that is spring’s promise. Daylight lasts into the evening hours now and we want to be outside. Without a winter coat. Or gloves.

We traipse into the backyard to see if anything is trying to push through winter’s muck and mess. We want to think about gardens and when can we spread grass seed and what color geraniums we should get.

Is it too soon to rake the yard? I want to put the deck furniture out and drink coffee there. Even the robins and cardinals who wintered here with us are impatiently trilling for better weather.

And just like that, when we feel it is safe to put winter into the background, cold snow showers return, and we are resigned to looking out the living room window with disappointed eyes.

False spring is a cruel trick, Mother Nature. Although I suppose that April showers can mean snow as well as the rainy kind.

And we, as restless as the chirping birds, want change and we want it now.

We forget that renewal takes time. And as bystanders, we have to harness our eagerness and wait patiently.

It’s the same when dealing with difficulties and hardships in our personal lives. We are tired of hurting, of missing out, of feeling stuck. Weary with grief or pain, we need the hope that better days are ahead. And if we’re looking and don’t see any changes yet, it can be discouraging.

Remember that roots are not seen but are still down there, strong and alive, providing nourishment until the time is right to bloom.

Perhaps you feel as if winter has taken up residence in your soul and you can’t see a way out.

Your roots are still down there, even when you can’t feel them. They are providing a dormant cushion; allowing space for healing to begin. Winter is a time of rest for plants and people alike. The process cannot be rushed. Bravely hold onto faith.

One day, when you least expect it, you notice that a bold, tiny daffodil stem is poking up through the dirt. The leaves on the strawberry plants are spreading, and birds are pulling worms out of the ground. The warm sunshine is peeking through the clouds to rejuvenate everyone’s souls.

And you? You feel stronger. You breathe easier and can see a fresh path, faint but still there, up ahead.

Ladybird Johnson said, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”

Trust the roots.

Karen Roth is a semiretired librarian/educator living in Ottawa and has been a regular Write Team contributor.