When March 1 arrives, I always think of spring. I know that the official start of spring is later in the month of March, but for me spring is here at the beginning of March. I grew up in the south, and when March arrived the temperatures were usually already hot. I remember one March 1, it was 90 degrees.
Spring has had a new significance for me in the last few years. I have taken up gardening. Before the last few years, I was just too busy or the homes I was in had too much to do. Now that I am gardening, spring means watching my plants come to life. I have learned a lot in the last few years.
I learned that roses need to be cut back in December to bloom well in the spring. That first year I cut back my roses with a lot of skepticism. I was so surprised to see how much the roses grew when spring came.
My favorite flower is the Iris. I planted some Irises two years ago, and while the leaves are great, there have been no flowers. I guess I still have a lot to learn.
Since taking up gardening, I pay much more attention when I am out walking to the flowers that are bursting forth, to the trees with new growth, to the fruit that people have on their trees. I have many pictures on my phone of the spring growth. Spring is all around us if we pay attention.
Spring is a season of renewal and growth. And we notice the growth because spring flows from the season when days are shorter, flowers and plants are dormant, and some animals hibernate. Seasons also apply to us. In the spring of our lives, we might find we take on new projects as we discover new beginnings. In the spring, we might decide to clean out our closets or cabinets. It feels like we need a sense of renewal of the places we live.
In the spring, we might renew our desire to be outside more or to exercise more. In general, we have a sense of renewal and growth.
For me, spring is also the time to turn inward and renew my spiritual self. In every faith tradition we recognize that in addition to our physical self, there is also a spiritual self. In this time of renewal and growth, it is time to nurture our inner life. We are all created to be compassionate, kind and caring people, and in spring it is time to see how we are living up to who we are created to be.
Our practices may vary, but all faiths would have us reflect on what is important in our lives, pausing to see how we are connected to the world, and how we might serve others and creation. This spring, I invite you to pause from all the busyness and enjoy the beauty and the renewal and growth.
Rev. Dr. Linda A. Holbrook is the pastor of Morgan Hill United Methodist Church. She is a member of the Interfaith Clergy Alliance and may be contacted at [email protected]