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.