I walked outside the other day to let the sun kiss my face. Birdsong filled the air, welcoming me home. When the mild breeze danced over my skin, I fell into nature’s caress. Expanding beyond the confines of my body, I tapped into the unceasing web of energy connecting the multiverse and everything in it. I didn’t leave my body, but I became more than it. I became the trees that swayed with the rhythm of the wind, the squirrels twitching about from branch to branch, and the short, brittle grass dappled by sunlight. The sky yawned wide above me, at once distant and near. The previously gentle wind kicked up into a fierce gale that whipped my hair back from my face, energizing me with its power and warmth. It was then that I realized spring had arrived.

Though off to a shaky start, spring has thawed the frozen earth and warmed the frigid air, its timid but stubborn splendor triumphing once again over winter’s savage beauty. Spring is a time of new beginnings, of exciting potential. The buds on the trees were not yet formed the other day, but now they’re well on their way to bursting. Maybe they’ll wind up being even more splendid than years before, or maybe they wont. Either way, I’m sure they’ll do their best, and Ill appreciate them for what they are, how far they’ve come, and what they’ve endured. I’ll try to turn that appreciation inward once more, as well, and I hope you will too, whoever you are reading this.

Spring always feels uncertain. Summer too often feels unobtainable. Even when they arrive, it can be hard to work up the nerve to seize the opportunities they bring for fear they’ll just be snatched away, so we let them drift by. After all, many of us, myself included, have no doubt that autumn and then winter will eventually come charging in to wither any progress that has been made. The truth is that the headway made in fair weather doesn’t completely crumble with the first draft of freezing air. The trees don’t die, they simply fall dormant. Autumn sends the fruits of their labor from their boughs to decay in the cold mud below, yet that in turn lays the nurturing base for the new life that will claw its way to the surface next year. Though the scars remain, each turn of the seasons builds on the last, sometimes in ways we can’t understand until further on down the road, if ever. Before we know it, spring and summer return, and where once was a small copse of trees theres now a growing forest.

That’s what I like to tell myself, anyway. The truth may be harsher or it may be kinder from one individual to another, but I hope we can all at least keep spring in our sights even in the coldest of winters and make the most of it when it finally comes around.