Why is it that every spring we feel this push or drive to clean things out? Why do we dust corners and wash curtains that we ignore all winter long? Is it because the spring sunshine illuminates the dust and dirt that we have allowed to collect in our homes? Is it the longer days that give us more energy to accomplish our tasks or is it that sense of renewal and rebirth that refocuses us on the goals in our lives?
Every Spring I feel this need to reorganize my life (which is something I will be doing this weekend). I attack my wardrobe with viciousness, removing all the clothes that are too small, too big, faded, etc. I sit down with the piles of papers that have collected for months and toss unused coupons, events I had planned to attend but didn’t, old bills and check stubs that were necessary to keep at the time, but no longer serve a purpose. I look again at my finances and try to figure out how to spread my salary to cover all the bills, which never quite happens. (I once heard of a couple that would tape all their bills to the wall and throw darts at them to decide which ones they would pay that month. I think that’s a great idea!)
Recently, though, while sitting on a swing in my backyard one warm evening, I decided it was time for a little spring cleaning for my soul. For over two years, I have been huddling down and mending, so to speak. Through a series of tragic experiences and events in a short period of time (family deaths, divorce, and more), my soul went into hiding. I would begin to heal from one deeply wounding experience, just barely begin to peek my head out and then I would be hit with another tragic event.
I crawled into myself, avoiding talking to people that I had known all my life. For some reason, I’ve never had problems sharing good news, but sharing the pain was so intimate and private to me. It was difficult at times to even get out of bed, but I knew staying in bed and obsessing would have been worse. I often moved through my days on automatic, struggling not to think or feel. I felt only half-alive and my soul went through a very dark, long winter.
That evening, though, as I stared at the spring blossoms on the fruit trees and felt the evening sun warm on my skin, I decided it was time to come alive again. I looked down and slowly begin to swing my legs back and forth. With each movement, I ascended higher into evening blue above me. Like I did when I was a little girl, I leaned back and felt the air rush past my face. Then just at the perfect moment, I leapt from the swing landing on a soft patch of green grass. I stood up and giggled. It was at the moment that I knew I was going to be ok. I stared at the setting sun and genuinely smiled.
Life will never be perfect. There will always be hills and valleys and stumbling stones on my journey. I may not like where I am now, but as Anne of Green Gables says “There is always another bend in the road.” Who knows what another few months, weeks or even another few days will bring? And so, with this thought, I open my arms wide to embrace the sun.