Sliding Otter News 4/23/2011

Passover, Easter and the Promise of Spring Renewal

Caribbean Sunrise

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters
compared to what lies within us.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

The Jewish celebration of Passover is underway and Easter is just around the corner. I don’t think it is a coincidence that both arrive just as nature struggles to put away the winter freeze and roll out the spring thaw. We make resolutions to change at New Year’s but somehow we don’t seem to do very well with them. In the middle of winter, we lapse into survival mode and stick with our lazy hibernation. Somehow change seems more natural in the spring.

Today I finally broke out of my winter doldrums. I have wanted to get back to more consistent writing. During the winter, I thought about getting serious about it again. I have managed to keep up with my columns. However I have often gone two or three weeks between journal entries and have been very sporadic with my blog. My fiction lies fallow as the farmer’s fields this time of year.

It doesn’t feel quite like spring yet, but signs abound telling us it is on its way. Pregnant female birds line up at the feeder. Lilac buds bulge, ready to burst. Migrating geese stray from their formation as they close in on Oatka Creek. It can’t be long now. With all these portents, I was ready to switch to my summer exercise routine and planned a walk. When the time came, I stepped out into snow showers which just wouldn’t quit. I walked anyway and encountered a lone Canada goose honking loudly in the middle of a cow pasture. Perhaps it longed for the dawn of spring as much as I did.

Nature regales us with new shoots, crocus and daffodil blooms as well as baby birds and animals. What can we do for our part? Perhaps we can take inspiration from nature and make our contribution to the spring awakening. What lies dormant within us? We will never know until we look inside ourselves.

What will we find? Sometimes we are afraid to test new talents or reveal ones we have hidden from others. We sometimes underestimate the value of our talent. What if no one appreciates what we have to offer? Maybe we will look silly and make fools of ourselves. Even if our worst fears are borne out, we will be in good company. Many now famous artists and composers were initially met with ridicule.

Husks of flower buds are not particularly attractive, Baby animals are often ungainly. Initial efforts to release our creative energy might appear awkward as we seek to find our true potential. However, without testing our wings, we will never fly. We fear falling on our face and we might well do so with our first few efforts. With perseverance, we will eventually find our confidence.

Life Lab Lessons

  •  What talents might lie hidden within you?
  • What friendly encouragements have you disregarded?
  • Try something new this Spring.
  • Don’t judge yourself.
  • Let yourself take some chances.

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