Springtime was always my favorite time of year on the campus of my alma mater Ripon College. As soon as warmer temperatures arrived, the dorm lawns were littered with students. Welcomed by the sun, blankets covered the grass as girls laid out to “study”, boys threw a football around or started up a game of ultimate Frisbee, and flirting was at an all time high. As if triggered by warmer temperatures, talk of summer break, graduation, and new lives beginning, the campus was electric – buzzing with a sense of inspiration, motivation and excitement.
For as long as I can remember, the first taste of spring has always brought excitement but with it comes a tinge of discontent. I could never really put a finger on it, just embraced the butterflies that filled my gut at the smell of spring. But this year I figured it out. As spring brings newness to the earth, it makes me feel like there has to be something new and exciting in my life.
As the trees transform from their empty state scratching the sky, our lives seem to call for a desperate breath of fresh, new air. Suddenly, old relationships are broken off, and new sparks are flying. Mantles are cleared of winter décor as even our homes cry for a new look. The lawn beckons to be dealt with, the grills are uncovered, and weekends fill up with plans as winter hibernation expires. Instead of being drawn inward, spring calls us out for a re-birth. An active, motivated shift to start anew.
I love that about spring. Maybe that’s why springtime was my favorite season in college, as new things were always on the horizon; but what about when there isn’t something new, motivating or exciting? I’m not in college anymore. I’m not in a job where spring means an impending summer break. I’m living life as a wife, kitty mama, and a writer. And all of that stays the same with each and every weather change. Without anything new and exciting on the horizon, that’s when my spring buzz transforms into discontent. Suddenly I find myself frustrated by the constant and envious of those embracing new change.
There’s a song by one of my favorite bands, Relient K that nails these emotions on the head. Called High of 75 the lyrics say, “Because on and off the clouds have fought for control over the sky. And lately the weather has been so bi-polar and consequently so have I.” I mean seriously, have you experienced a Wisconsin spring? That is the epitome of bi-polar right there. But then the chorus goes on to say, “And now I’m sunny with a high of 75 since you took my heavy heart and made it light. And it’s funny how you find you enjoy your life, when you’re happy to be alive.” When I am dealing with these wonky spring-time feelings, I have a choice in how I want to respond. I can either look around me and see these young pups darting off to exciting new careers, and watch my neighbor curate his beautifully landscaped yard with envy in my heart, or, I can find joy in what I do have. High of 75 is my all-time favorite spring song because it names my bi-polar-like struggle between excitement and discontent, and then calls me out of it to focus on the beautiful weather and the joy of enjoying life.
Because of Christ, I have every reason to be light-hearted and happy to be alive. And I think spring is a beautiful personification of that. Because of Him, winter is not the end. The trees, plants and animals don’t just die off; spring comes and everything is re-born. Buds pop up on the trees, the grass turns lush and green, and chirping birds act as a morning alarm. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, just like winter, our last breath is not the end. In fact, it’s the beginning of a new life, a re-birth.
When I am tempted to get caught up in my spring struggle, I want to focus on this beautiful representation of spring. I want to embrace the desire for newness and allow it to motivate and inspire me to praise. When spring has sprung, I want to soak up it’s warmth, roll down my windows and let High of 75 blare as a praise song to Him because He took my heavy heart and made it light.
- image by Roost Photography -