The Transformative Power of Spring
The changes we see in nature during March can be some of the most dramatic of the year and can resonate deeply with our own fascination with transformation. Compelling TV shows treat us to instant transformation – whether that be someone’s house, their appearance or lifestyle. Nature has its own celebrities at this time of year. The normally secretive hare goes through a dramatic change – letting their guard down, racing around open grassland adjacent to arable fields. Although they are usually solitary, you may be lucky enough to see the females boxing with their ardent suitors. The hare is often associated with moon deities and signifies rebirth, resurrection and fertility.
From March onwards wiggling tadpoles can be found tucked away in sheltered pools and ponds. This is the start of their eleven-week transformation that will eventually see them emerge as new frogs. Look up into the trees and you will see neighbourhoods of noisy rooks. Atop their arboreal high-rises they have started their cacophonous breeding (no wonder the collective name for these raucous birds is a Parliament). Throughout the month we are treated to vibrant hues but my favourite is the carpets of brilliant white stars that is the wood anemone. We feel the warming sunshine on our faces but the cold wind still nips at our ears and snaps at our fingers. The air is filled with promise, our senses are stirred as colour returns to the world.
For many animals – including ourselves – March marks the end of hibernation. For some people, the month sees them emerge from the gloomy cavern of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Many butterflies awake from hibernation in March as the first flowers appear. There is something delicate yet robust about these painted insects. They are a reminder that we may be stronger than we give ourselves credit. But often our emotional resources are frozen along with the aspects of ourselves we’d rather not look at. We may be frozen by our own guilt, shame or fear. However, strength can come through using love – for ourselves, for others. March provides a timely reminder that the softest of shoots have the capacity to push through the hardest of rocks.
There is something very seductive about the notion of being instantly transformed into the person you’ve always wanted to be. However, whilst the appearance of colourful transformation draws our attention – from nature’s point-of-view it is only part of the yearly cycle. The most resilient change comes through slowly realising our potential whilst also coming to terms with our imperfections.
The art of transformation
Transformation, in part, is about letting go of aspects of ourselves that hinder us and celebrating those facets that enhance our lives. Sometimes engaging with symbolic art making can assist in manifesting change.
You are invited to find a small stream that resonates with you. Then, find a natural object that represents that which you would wish to leave behind on winter shore. Next, find or make an object that symbolizes something you wish to take forward with you on to the spring bank.
Standing on winter’s bank (it may be the shady side), hold winter’s object in one hand and spring’s object in the other. Take a moment to imagine that you are actually holding the two parts of yourself in the respective hand.
When you are ready, drop the winter object to the ground and traverse the stream carrying only your spring object. On reaching the sunny spring bank, cradle the positive object in both hands. Embodying your new self, keep this object safe – it is the promise to yourself to allow transformation in to your life.
When spring doesn't arrive
In March, tantalizing greenery begins to emerge. Circles of colourful flowers appear, swaying and gossiping together. Our expectation is that we become more sociable with the advent of spring. However, connecting with nature’s positive energy may be a challenge and we find ourselves consigned to winter’s icy shore with no bridge in sight. Sometimes even looking at what should be a joyful sight further deepens the depression because we cannot engage with the anticipated delight.
Even if a better life is possible, we may be fearful of taking the necessary steps. It can be hard to let go of the fear that protects us from disappointment, risk letting in the good for fear of having it taken away. However, recognising that we need someone to walk and talk along side us for a while is the first step across life's rushing stream. Give yourself the gift of transformation - find someone who is knowledgeable about traversing the psychic terrain you wish to cross.