Spring never comes soon enough or fast enough. It surges forward with assurances of warmth and green but then flounders in fits of cold white and blotches of dreary brown.
Brown that breathes earthy and expectant.
Brown that is caught in that space between relief that winter’s snows have finally abated and impatience that spring’s promises take so long to bud, sprout, and bloom.
Brown that is tolerated only for its transitional role.
I struggled with the expanses of brown this spring. They irritated my restless spirit, perhaps because they seemed to mirror the brown patches of life – those places of transition that move too slowly or seem to stagnate completely. Those places where the hoped-for never seems to blossom, where next-steps loom large and lonely, barren and brown.
Even when spring feels impossible, the inevitable still happens: minute pricks of green form tidy dotted lines along furrows of brown, an aura of green hovers in tree tops. The desolate brown gradually sinks beneath a verdant sea of new life.
I now sit in my back yard, luxuriant with green of all shades and hues, listening to the wind compose a symphony of leaves, with percussion, harmony, and counter-melody provided by the myriad of birds who glide, flit, and flutter through branches and blue sky.
I am drawn to the lushness surrounding me. It sways and bends, dipping gracefully in and out of snippets of sunshine, full of all the action and movement that bleak, brown transitions seem to lack. But even a mildly observant eye recognizes that beyond the promised and welcomed greenery, brown quietly plays a supporting role – as sturdy tree trunks and reaching branches, as nutrient-rich earth buried beneath spreading roots….and as those spaces of change and transition that undergird all seasons of life.
Just like grace.
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” (Ann Lamott)
Transition and transformation.
Just like spring.