What Can Spring Teach Us About Our Own Healing? | Sojourners

What Can Spring Teach Us About Our Own Healing?

Photo by Leigh Kendell on Unsplash

Spring is here once again, and we are watching elements of nature in America slowly come alive as the last hints of winter melt away one day at a time. One of the most incredible things we can learn from the earth is the importance of seeing everything in cycles.

In western society, we like to think of things happening on a linear path; even our sense of time controls the way we interact with one another.

But if we really pay attention to what is happening outside of us, we realize that life is meant to be processed in a cycle. We see the moon cycle and the cycle of the seasons, and it doesn’t take long to recognize that we have forgotten to stop and breathe in the middle of our hectic lives.

Social media has felt increasingly volatile lately. Whatever circles you exist in, someone is on edge when it comes to religion, politics, identity, or any of the other difficult conversations we are trying to maneuver in 2019. We are fighting over who is in or out, who belongs and who doesn’t belong, and what identity is supposed to mean. We are fighting to mean something in the world, aren’t we?

If ever there was a time to stop and remember that spring is here, it is now.

Soon some of us will be celebrating Holy Week, the week before Easter in the church, when we remember Jesus in his death on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Day. This year I desperately needed Lent, a season to sit with the ideas of wilderness and longing. And I will need Holy Week, to remember Jesus as a man who walked to his death because he knew that empire and toxic institutions that oppressed people would not have the last word.

So, we remember Holy Week, and we watch flowers blooming alongside the road, with the knowledge that next year we will do this all over again, repeating the cycle. And in the same way, we will watch our political cycles repeat as we get ready to vote again next year. How do we stay tethered to what is good around us when we are so embedded in systems that bring harm, fear, and stress?

We remember that the cycles of the earth remind us to stop and breathe, to practice self-care, to remember that we are to remain humble as people.

What if we remembered that we are all on a collective journey to healing, and that means we must journey alongside one another, through every twist and turn? The idea of the labyrinth comes to mind, a tool for prayer that helps one remember that the journey of relationship with God and ourselves often means getting lost before we find a way home.

So, we listen to the voices that call us back to healing. We listen as the wind blows and the bees remind us that life is all around us. We breathe in that reality and let it lead us into our own spaces of healing.