Spring Thaw

IMG_1720Spring has arrived, and I’m thrilled.  The daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding out, and the temperatures are running the gamut from just above freezing to warm enough for sandals.  I especially love early Spring because I can be outside without battling tree pollen and the annoying mosquitoes that come a bit later.  For me, Spring has always been a time of hope:  knowing that the long, dark Winter is finally over and that the earth is renewing itself with new and colorful life always makes me happy.

But this year, I’m even more ready for Spring that usual.  It’s not that I believe “everything will be alright now,” because even I’m not that stupid.  It’s just that I feel that after the events of the past two years, on both a personal and global level, I’m finally ready to move forward.

When the pandemic first hit and the lock downs began, all I wanted was my old life back.  I deeply resented all the people who kept saying, “things will never be the same again,” and clung desperately to my belief that somehow, all of us would indeed be able to step back into our pre-Covid lives.  But the world did change, and time, as it always does, marched relentlessly forward.  Slowly but surely, I began to accept my “new reality” and even make peace with it.  In hard times, we just do what we have to do, and learn to find joy in the little things.

But personally, I can’t stay in “survival mode” forever.  There comes a time when I need to get back to simply living my life as best I can.  That doesn’t mean I’ve finally manged to return to the life I had two years ago, because I haven’t, and never will.  It does mean that I’m ready to embrace the life I have as fully as I possibly can, keeping my old habits that still work and shedding the ones that don’t.  It means being open to new ways of thinking, doing, and living that make sense with the world as it is now, and the person I have become.

And so I’m ready for Spring, and not just the one I see outside my window.  I’m ready for a little rebirth of my own.  I’m ready to connect with people I haven’t seen in far too long, and whose absence I’ve felt deeply.  Recently, I was lucky enough to meet up with two dear friends from my school days, and I swear that even in the brief time we spent together, I could feel a little piece of my heart thawing out.  There really is nothing like being in the physical presence of our loved ones, friends and family alike.

I know that there are still major issues to be faced, and more trials ahead for all of us.  But my hope is that somehow in the midst of it all, we can all find our own, personal Spring.

92 thoughts on “Spring Thaw

  1. I hear you Ann, flood and fuel prices have thrown us into a much closer mix than we’d like! With more than a thousand families now homeless and living cheek by jowl in sports camps and school gyms. Some are loving the drastic turn about, but the pets are causing the most angst …

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    • I can’t imagine how hard it must be to lose everything in a flood, even your beloved pet! The shelter where I volunteer routinely goes to disaster areas and sets up temporary shelters for the pets until their owners can have them again. It’s a small act, but I think it means a lot to the people involved!

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  2. Life has a way of making us adapt and as long as we find the solutions, not just the problems, we will be fine. I am with you Ann. We need to get our lives back and have something to look forward to. The current news cycle is just too depressing. Happy adapting and Happy Sunday. ALlan

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    • I like the way you put that, Allan! The trick is to look for solutions, not just focus on the problems. And there are always solutions to at least some of our problems, which can give us that much-needed hope. Thanks so much for your comment!!!

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  3. I love spring too and can’t help feeling hopeful as the temps warm and the trees begin to bud. I spent this morning with a group of friends, walking on the beach boardwalk and eating tacos at an outside cafe. It almost felt like summer, but without the crowds. We may not get back to “normal” but life is still pretty sweet.

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    • I agree. In some ways, we’re back to normal, and in others, we never will be. But life can still be good if we decide that we want it to be. When I’m really down, I think of all the people who have lived through major wars and other calamities, and yet managed somehow to just keep going: getting married, having kids, pursuing their dreams as best they could. And that makes me hopeful.

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  4. The post is redolent of the very spirit of Spring, within and without. It is my favourite season hands down. I can quite relate to your anguish when we were constantly being reminded by the naysayers that things will never be the same again. And yet, we haven’t quite shut out ourselves from the happenings out there. We will claw back and claim our friends and family, our neighbourhood, this planet. There is so much this world needs to be cured of, from the lab manufactured pandemics to brutal onslaught on neighbours, and even dogged defiance at the cost of one’s countrymen at their expense.

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    • Exactly! I think being hopeful doesn’t mean we aren’t being realistic. The problems we face are very real and you’ve listed the big ones. But I do think that we will move forward toward a better future, one baby step at a time. I would prefer it moved quicker, but history proves that it usually doesn’t. So meanwhile I just do the best I can and pray for peace and healing!

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  5. Many people here are maskless. In fact at church I was the only mask wearer. Perhaps if I were certain that no one was sick I’d remove my mask… but all the little kids coughing and sneezing keeps me masked! One cold in 3 years and I know the mask works!

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    • It does help with the cold and flu, as well as with Covid, doesn’t it? Most people here are no longer wearing masks since the mandate was lifted, but some continue to wear them. Personally, I was happy to hear that many medical leaders think that we will have an annual Covid booster from now on, which should provide a decent amount of protection…..that gives me hope!

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  6. I really hear you with this blog post! We (here in Europe) are faced with the constant bombardement of “what is and what can happen” in the Ukraine and with NATO. So our Spring still feels like survival mode. Although a visit from a long time friend for the last week all the anxiety seemed to melt away, things seemed almost normal. The company of friends can sure make things feel better and reduce the “what if” as we just live in the moment. Really, this moment, right now is all we have.😊🙏☮️💙💛

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    • I know, it’s so much harder for those living so closes to the fighting. We’re very worried here in the States as well, of course, but it’s not as immediate for us. And you’re right, all we can ever do is live in the hear and now…who knows what will happen, both bad or good? But I hate the way this senseless war is causing so much death and destruction, with fear of worse to come. We never seem to learn, do we?

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      • Nope, human kind has never learned from the past. A huge flaw in our DNA! The fact that the threat is not as immediate for Americans is also a flaw in our understanding of how interconnected we all are, nuclear or chemical warfare is damaging to all humans no matter where we live on this plant. War has long term affects for all humans no matter where we live. Not just higher prices at the pumps or the stores. I feel we should have done more to stop this before 120,000 troops crossed the border but then I do know there was hundreds of diplomatic negotiations that took place. I just pray that there is a peace treaty soon before more lives are lost.

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  7. I hear you right inside my soul, Ann. Everything you wrote makes me want to skip. Even I cannot explain why I feel so ready for spring. Although 1 major problem has been resolved for us, we have a couple more which weigh heavily. Yet, like you, my heart is singing away, waiting for more spring days. It’s not so much the hope as it is the knowing that joy is here and is indeed coming. You and I may never get our old lives back again, Ann, but maybe, just maybe, it isn’t as important as before – because there’s a good chance that what is coming is better.

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    • That’s the way I feel now, too! The old will never really return (and when does it ever?) but that doesn’t mean the new will be worse. The Ukraine war is very scary, and the timing of it couldn’t have been worse for our morale. But even so, I have a sense of awakening and hope, and that is a very good thing! I’m also glad that at least one major problem was resolved for you, and hope that the others are too.

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    • No one really knows that, although the experts seem hopeful that the time when it is ruling our lives seems to be winding down. So that makes me hopeful. I believe Covid will always be with us, but I hope that it will become much more manageable as time moves forward, and that seems to be happening. Only time will tell for sure.

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    • It does indeed! We’ve had pandemics and wars before, and we’ll have them again. I just pray that we get through the current ones with minimum damage, and it does seem as if Covid is no longer such a huge threat. Vaccines and better treatments are helping for sure!

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  8. This is such a wonderful post! 🙂 I love how you put that you hope we each find our own ‘personal spring’. Also, you mentioned that in the midst of the pandemic, we managed to find joy in simple things. That is one habit we surely must hold onto. Somehow, when we celebrate the little stuff, everything in the world seems all that much better. Maybe, that is because we can bring a ‘calmer’ sense to all that is going on around us. The better we feel ourselves, the more we can give to others.

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    • Thanks, Linda! And you put that perfectly when you said the better we feel ourselves, the more we can give to others. I think one of the biggest problems with the pandemic has been the fear and anger it caused, which made people lash out at others….that’s never good for anyone. We have to get to a place of personal hope and peace so that we can help others cope, too. Only then will we really move forward, I believe!

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  9. You’ve said so well what most of us haven’t been able to put into words, Ann. These have been been two awfully hard years, haven’t they? The fears, the pent-up anger, the isolation, the rapid changes — all have combined to try us in ways we haven’t been tried before. Yet, slowly approaching “the other side,” we can see many of us have survived. Some have even thrived! And, while we can’t “go back” to the way things were, we can open our arms to this new reality, refusing to ever again take for granted the blessings of family, friends, and life!

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    • You just did a great job of summing up the struggles of the past two years and also how we are moving forward. Every cloud has a sliver lining, and I think knowing that we should never take our time with friends and family for granted is this pandemic’s! Thanks for that comment, Debbie!

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  10. Ann, your sentiments & feelings expressed in this post are spot on to my own. I recognize there is much still to deal with in regards to both the pandemic and the atrocities current happening in the Ukraine & many other parts of the world, but after the last two years, I just need to take a moment, breathe in the fresh spring air & feel some sense of hope that the future holds a more positive outlook. Thank you for capturing what I am feeling in my heart as well. 💕

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    • Thanks, Lynn! I’m so glad that this spoke to you and to others. I almost didn’t write it because I was afraid that it would seem I was making light of the horrors in the Ukraine and elsewhere, and of those who have lost loved ones to Covid. I just meant that we can feel hopeful in spite of those things, and grateful that we finally seem to be getting a handle on the pandemic. It is good to know that is how it came across, so thanks for letting me know!

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  11. Spring has been slow to arrive here, so I’m still feeling a little winter glum, BUT I take your point. I plan to do more in the future, I am hopeful that I’ll be able to do things and NOT get sick with Covid because of it. Who’s to say? Maybe the worst of the pandemic really is behind us…

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    • The experts I’ve heard seem to think so, although the biggest risk as I understand it is that a new variant that is more deadly could develop in the countries where people aren’t vaccinated. So that’s another reason to make the vaccines available to everyone, I think. But I just can’t help but feel hopeful right now….I mean, there’s always a possibility for bad things, you know? And I don’t want to keep on living in fear of them, so I just do the best I can to protect myself and others and then get one with my life. Thanks so much for your comment…I hope warmer weather heads your way soon!

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  12. I had great plans for a fresh start in Spring until my husband was hospitalized with AFIB. Life has changed then with a new diet and exercise regime but there is lots of hope for the future. I am looking forward to our first vacation. My 92 year old aunt caught Covid recently but had been thrice vaccinated. It was a mild infection and we are all reassured.

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    • I’m so sorry to hear about your husband! I’m glad that there is a plan for controlling the AFIB, and that you can still go on vacation. And glad that your aunt’s version of Covid is mild. From what I understand, the vaccines don’t guarantee you won’t get it, but they practically guarantee that you’ll get a mild version. I hope that’s true!

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  13. I’m happy to read that you’ve begun to move forward. As I’ve said before, my circumstances and my approach to the pandemic have been so different from many people’s that I don’t have the same feelings of being released from the prisons of anxiety, frustration, and so on. In truth, my life has changed little over the past two years, and I never think about the pandemic unless I happen across it in a blog entry or news report.

    That said, I’ve always been a fan of spring cleaning: both physical and mental. Taking out the mental rubbish is just as important as window washing, and it’s sure the season for doing so. Thanks for the nudge!

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    • I think you were smart in the way you reacted to Covid. I’ve discovered that the more people managed to live their normal lives during the pandemic (and in some countries, the restrictions made that impossible), the easier they made the transition to post-Covid times. And I agree, the mental Spring cleaning is just as important as the physical…if not more so!

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  14. Hi Ann 🙂
    I get this post…I’ve been feeling the same exact way. Even though I know there is still a lot of suffering due to Covid, I almost have washed it from my mind. The mask that was always hung around my neck at the ready, is now hard to find when I need it for a place that still requires it. Just yesterday I went to the theatre!! Yaaayyyy!! The theatre is back! They did require us to wear the mask during the whole performance, but I barely noticed as I tapped my foot to the music and had a smile from ear to ear! I think we are all ready for some normalcy…even if only for a brief interlude.
    Sending lots of good energy…and love your post about your grandchildren…they are so beautiful!! EnJOY!!!

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    • I think Covid is under much better control now, although I believe it will always be with us. Still, it feels good that it is no longer ruling our lives, doesn’t it? It does feel so good to reconnect with others and to get back to at least some of the normal activities we did before the pandemic struck. I’m so glad you were able to go to the theater, and agree that wearing a mask there wouldn’t take away the enjoyment a bit! For now, I’m enjoying the grandkids and the life that I have, right here and right now. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but we can always enjoy the present! Thanks so much for your sweet comment!

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