I am an optimist, and I love Spring. Spring uplifts my soul. It is the season of new life and new possibilities.
Spring is also a metaphor for forgiveness. Whatever happened in the last season can be buried, life begins anew with no carryover resentment from the past. Spring reminds us … to start where we are. The renewal of spring is the healing from grief, and this year spring heralds our emergence from the pessimism of covid-driven isolation and loneliness. Have we ever needed to emerge from winter more than this year?
It is in Spring that we first notice that the days are getting longer and the nights shorter. Spring also teaches us to lean into the future with a sense of optimism. .
Spring … encourages us to persist in whatever we are doing, even if it does not yet appear to show signs of life.
The great composer Gustav Mahler expressed the freedom of spring and the escape from the confines of winter when he said, “Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.”
Pastor and preacher Virgil Kraft adds a touch of spiritual awe when he says “”Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”
I am a golfer, and where I live, spring is the start of the golf season. My office looks out on a golf course all year long, but it is in spring that I once again nurture the hope that this year will be the year of the breakthrough in my game.
It’s also the start of the baseball season – spring training. The so-called “Boys of Summer” start their play in the Spring!
This spring, I find myself hoping that our tragically divided nation will begin the healing process, the coming together of our people around the values we share rather than being driven apart by the differences we aggregate. Where is the national leader of the twenty-first century who can replicate the patriotism of Frederick Douglass who, although he personally endured the physical, verbal and societal abuses of slavery and prejudice, nonetheless drew people together not apart by returning to the values of America expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
That’s the kind of unifying leadership we see too little of today.
Politics in a two-party system almost always devolves into a binary process of mutual opposition rather than a unifying process of shared vision and values. Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell should step outside their elegant but stale-aired offices in the Capitol and inhale the sweet fragrance of Spring. They might find that at least they agree on that – that Spring is a season of hope!
Maybe the simplest statement on Spring that I came across in preparing this commentary came from the sadly departed but great comedian Robin Williams: “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’
Yes, let’s party indeed.
This has been Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring for American Radio Journal