Spring Fever & Seasons
I’m a mishmash of thoughts and ideas today on this snowy February day. Do you have clearly marked seasons where you live? Years ago as a freshman in college at Pepperdine, I quickly realized that Southern California did not have seasons the way Oklahoma does. I lamented the loss of fall colors, snow, and that delicious chartreuse green change from winter into spring that happens here like clockwork. (To be fair, the whole going-to-the-beach year round thing did make up for it, but that’s another story.)
So I’m grateful for seasons in many ways. I absolutely love elements of every single season because there’s always something new to look forward to. In the dead heat of summer I try hard to remember what it’s like to feel cold, and vice versa. With all this snow that we’ve gotten, I’m happy as a clam to be snuggled up under a blanket on the sofa with hot coffee. But I’m already itching for warm sun on my skin and spring break and not having to put on every single item of clothing I own to stay warm. (I think I’m also a little bit Vitamin D deficient right now – I NEED SOME SUN.)
The study I’m doing at church this semester started off with a discussion on seasons in life and in spirituality, which I have absolutely eaten up and loved. It doesn’t seem like a far stretch to link it to creativity either. I used to have a lot of fear when I’d start to feel stretched mentally, physically, emotionally. “Will it be like this forever?” I’d lament. Every creative I know has the fear of “What if the well runs dry? What if I run out of ideas?” And it for sure happens – but it’s normal. Everything is a season. There’s no way you can stay in summer all year long. My friend Taylor pointed out that by the end of summer, everything’s dry, burnt up. Fruit trees can’t bear fruit all year long. They have to have rest. There has to be some amount of regeneration, some fertilizing, some care taken. And we humans are no different. So I’m learning to appreciate the seasons – even the windblown winter landscape. Because there’s still change happening there. There’s still growth.
Last year at NSS, I remember feeling so out of sorts creatively and spiritually because there was so much other stuff happening (I’m looking at YOU, fertility drugs). I was really anxious about it – I couldn’t focus and I didn’t feel like myself. In retrospect, I was in a total winter season and I needed rest, but didn’t realize it. I was pushing myself to the brink and not allowing myself any restoration. I have to take good care of myself in every arena in order to do all the things I’m supposed to do well: mothering, wifeing (I just made that up), creating. And now I’m happy to say that I’m entering my own personal spring right now creatively. Everything is new, fresh, regenerated.
Years ago as a 16 year old, my parents sent me to stay with my aunt and uncle in France. I look back on that as my parents fostering my creative spirit, probably without even knowing it. It was like this explosion of beauty and design happened to me in those three short weeks. I had never seen art, museums, or architecture like what I saw there. It was all I could do to keep from throwing off my shoes and running through the perfectly manicured green grass just for the sheer joy of being surrounded by something so lovely.
And so I did, right there on this big green lawn at Versailles. It was a beautiful marvelous spring season for me in so many ways.
So wherever you are right now – whatever season you’re in – I hope you’re fostering it, tending to it. Holding it close and appreciating it for what it is. But know that another season isn’t far behind with its own joys and issues.
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