March 24, 2019: Return of the Blackbird
“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” Harriet Ann Jacobs
When one reflects on signs of Spring, there’s a potpourri of signs and memories that bring joy to our winter weary souls. From tiny crocus and golden daffodils pushing their colorful blooms through the soil, to the increased hours of daylight and dawn chorus of birds, these are all nature’s messages that Winter has gone on its way.
March 20th was technically the first day of Spring, but here in New England and many parts of our country, Mother Nature didn’t seem to get the memo. Snow is still a common occurrence as well as the frigid temperatures. This year, Winter has seemed especially long, dampening spirits and leaving feelings of discouragement. Whether it’s the fact our first snowstorm was in October, or the ongoing doom and gloom messages we hear each day on the news, the dark and cold season has seemed to persist longer than usual. Yet each day, simple events give us glimmers of hope and assurance that Spring is coming and the days will get brighter.
Visiting our bird feeders here in New Hampshire, we still have the birds from up north, Evening Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls. They’re evidently not ready to return back home yet. But we now have own “snowbirds” returning from their vacations down south. In the past week, red wing blackbirds and bluebirds have returned. Each day, the sun is out a little longer, and seed catalogues have been arriving, tempting us with gardens to come.
On a world level, we have also witnessed this week how a terrible catastrophe in New Zealand showed us how a tragedy was met with compassion, love and support from its leader and citizens, balancing horror with grace and commitments for positive change. Around the world, the reaction and response of this tiny country is a beacon of hope for our troubled world. Acts of kindness and support are helping to ease the darkness and pain.
This annual transformation of the season with its renewal of life, can remind us that when we travel through the dark winters of our lives, Spring is always around the bend. Rather than stay frozen in the past, we can search for evidence of change, and find delight and reassurance in spotting the first sign posts. Like seeds beneath the snow waiting to blossom, our own hearts hold infinite acts of courage, love and kindness waiting to bloom.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the return of Spring in the comments below.