By Amoret BriarRose
The seeds (sealed in a pocket
squashed in a small pot
with spongy, thirsty dirt
and simple instructions for planting,
a gesture, an idea of green)
surprise themselves and sprout.
Spring has come to Pittsburgh, and I think it is finally here to stay. In my region, Spring and Winter often do a strange dance at this time of year, with neither really being comfortable leading. Since February, we have been having a few abnormally warm days followed by a solid block of frigid winter, which is then followed by warming, then more winter. It’s been hard on my immune system and on my mood – in late winter, like clockwork, my depression intensifies.
Yesterday, I gathered up my despairing, gray self and took a long walk with my husband in the warm air, actively working to shake off the cobwebs in my soul. We walked two miles to get dinner, noticing crocuses and daffodil and hyacinth poking up through the leftover autumn leaves. Sunshine, warmth, budding trees, mud and fresh sweat combined into a spell, a prayer: Please, let the cycles turn. Please, let my cycles turn. Please, let me feel renewed again. On the return trip home, dusk was descending quickly and the air was slightly cooler. In the fading light, we watched a family of nine deer cross Forbes Avenue into the Homewood Cemetery – new life comingling with death. By the time we got home, I felt noticeably more relaxed.
This morning, I woke up languidly. It is rare that I get to sleep in, but today I chose to lie in bed and snooze as long as my body needed to rest. For the first time since last Autumn, the bedroom window was open, allowing cool breezes and the birds to act as my gentle alarm clock.
The shift from Winter to Spring always reminds me of a favorite phrase of my initiator Pandora O’Mallory: The Gift Must Move. Waking up to birdsong, I am reminded that the gifts of life flow in natural, mysterious ways. When I spot a crocus peeking up through the detritus of fall, I remember that I too am a part of the Earth’s cycles, waking up to begin again, pushing through the past to both receive and give renewal and hope. Much like the birds singing in the trees, my animal body responds to the call of Spring – I feel the urge to be outside, to move, to reawaken and grow. I feel the call to give my own gifts, the call to bring myself back to the world.
The Gift Must Move, and I Move With It.