“It shouldn’t be like this,” he said.
“I know,” I agreed.
“We should be seeing little bits of green in the grass.”
“I know,” I said.
As giant clusters of March snow fell, the silence between us spoke our sorrow for the climate crisis with no need to mention the bitter cold that keeping us away from the St. Patrick’s Day parade. We knew.
We knew how the weather had once been this time of year. Unpredictable perhaps, but not so extreme that lives were lost seemingly nonstop to floods and fires. The calendar said spring was five days away. And we had our expectations.
I’m a constant commentator on seasons. In the throes of a recent gray winter day, I tried to cheer my coworkers by reminding them that the upcoming equinox was exactly one month away. The thought of it gave me hope that bitter winds and icy sidewalks would give way to warm breezes and walks with daffodils that grow by the hundreds not far from my home.
I couple my anticipation and expectations of what’s to come with my penchant for planning. In spring I plan routes for summer travel. In summer I plan the autumn schedule for a first of fall celebration and a last farmer’s market. In October I’m overthinking Christmas. And so it goes.
So when the season fails to arrive when and how I expect, I get grumpy. I forget. I’ve never overseen the rhythms of life. Not when my brother Tim died at 35 or when my healthy husband got a diagnosis of terminal cancer at 55. Not last week when my vibrant friend and coach made plans for chemo when I expected her plans were for a drive in her red convertible or to walk El Camino.
In my insistence that the world should turn on my terms, I forget that I have this season right here, right now. I have this day. Hot or cold. Humid or crisp. Heartbreaking or happy.
The daffodils are working underground right now, just as eager as I am to pop up joyfully. I can’t see them. Still, I trust they will show their cheery faces when the time comes. Until then, the earth and skies more than the calendar remind me that impermanence and new beginnings will unfold with or without my planning, always with a bit of mystery.
Until then, I’d best appreciate every little snowflake.
Do you notice seasons changing?
Can you hold hopeful anticipation without expectation?
How do you surrender to “what is” in your life today?
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