The Restlessness of Spring

There’s a restlessness in the air. I feel it in the trees, their stored winter sap pulsing to birth their new buds and leaves. I see it in my clients as they wiggle out of the identity that no longer fits – as single person, as non-parent, as employee at a job that no longer serves them. I sense it in my husband as he works to complete the final stages of a project that he’s wanted to release into the world for years. I recognize it in myself as I strive to find the balance that seems to perpetually elude mothers of young children. And I witness it in my son, his whole being – physically, emotionally, and psychologically – itching in a constant state of discomfort as he reaches for his next stage of growth (seasonal allergies don’t help, but could there be a psycho-somatic component there as well?).

During autumn, the invitation from nature is to turn inward as we prepare, like the trees that shed their leaves, to release that which no longer serves us. But during spring, the seasonal counterpoint of autumn, we’re also invited to observe the stagnant places revealed through winter’s hibernation and let them go. It’s a different letting go than happens during fall, not a full shedding as much as a recognition that a new stage is just within reach and in order to embrace it we must pass through an uncomfortable “itchy” stage as a layer of skin falls away. The outer world is on the threshold of bursting into the full bloom and celebration of summer; if we look carefully, we’ll see that the inner world is also in this simultaneously uncomfortable and exciting state of anticipation.

Sometimes the restlessness is call to action: we assess the situation at hand and see if there are other possibilities asking to be discovered. But sometimes our tendency to “do” and “solve” and “fix” prevent us from simply witnessing the restlessness and trusting that through this witnessing that new birth will naturally arise.

6 comments to The Restlessness of Spring

  • Thanks for the great post Shery!

  • Sarah Love

    I especially like the last line, as it reminds me to just witness and recognize this transition I’m going through rather than working constantly to fix how I’m feeling. Sometimes it’s hard to sit with the uncomfortable feelings, but it’s what I know I need to do to arrive at my wedding feeling calm and centered, rather than avoiding it like I usually do.

  • Natalie

    I personally have always felt a restlessness during spring and haven’t figured out why until the last few years (probably after my wedding transition). Many people associate the “seasonal blues” with winter, but I feel them much more this time of year. For me, the changes that happen in spring… the rebirth, the new life… tend to cause my anxiety to wonder “What else could be out there for me?” The last 2 years, I’ve really acknowledged this and have worked through it and felt less restless this year than I have in the past.

    Thank you for this post.

  • Celene

    So beautifully written, I’m passing this post on to a friend.
    Thank you for broadening the reach of your wedding and parenting transitions to include all phases/stages of life.

  • Thank you all for your comments. Celene, I’m delighted to be writing about transition in general. I love talking about the wedding and motherhood, but it’s the idea central to transitions as a whole that really thrill me. And it’s been wonderful to connect with so many people that found me through their wedding or motherhood transitions and now can engaged in the conversation at increasingly deeper levels.

    Natalie, that’s so interesting. I’m watching my son, especially, struggle with a transition this spring and holding the context that he’s on the verge of birthing something new. Just today he ran out to the swings and swung by himself for about two hours – for the first time. So the new birth is a new level of independence and his restlessness these past few weeks makes so much sense in that context.

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