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Looking for Spring

Message in a Bottle #12

Spring is finally sweeping through Minnesota, running through the forests, knocking on hollow trees, waking the land. The sun’s shining more often and it’s very wet, but as with the thawing, spring here likes to take its time in the green department too.

Disclaimer— I’m a simple person. It really doesn’t take much to move me, (even to tears) especially after spending what feels like half the year buried in snow, trying to make the best of it, but more often than not hunkered inside, just waiting it out. I’m a puddle inside at the first sight of grass showing through the snow or blossoms budding or people on the streets, maybe planting in store front pots. You know winter’s been long and brutal when a game of baseball down in a little valley makes you misty-eyed.

Now for the point of this Message in a Bottle.

I left Minnesota this weekend with a substantial layer of snow still intact. Southbound, I watched the dingy white steadily give way to desolate brown. As drab as that limbo wedged between winter’s thaw and true spring is, it was nice to drive out of the snow, feel the air steadily warm.

I expected the brown, though; I knew we’d hit it at some point. What I didn’t expect was the green or the white, for that matter, or the purple or the yellows. See, this white wasn’t the icy kind; it was the satin kind, the kind of petals unfurling of trees stretching their limbs and taking that first yawn into the wakeful sunshine.

At first it was only a small tree here and there, but full of white blooms all the same. I was a little shocked, but, you know, there are those extremely early bloomers, like magnolias and such. But this was not just a few fluke early birds; this was the subtle start of a vivacious spring parade soon passing by the car windows in a festival of life. It was just my sister and I, and Ben Rector’s song, Brand New was playing on our shuffle. It was the first time I had heard the song. My spirits rose so fast, I was asking myself like Jane Bennet, “Can you die of happiness?”

I reach these moments sometimes when I feel myself take a deep breath and all the weight of what’s stressing me out, all the day to day grind that’s dragging me down just fades away. I release the breath and, every time, I can never believe how much I didn’t know I needed the thing that gets me to let go. Sometimes it’s ocean waves, or just a nap in the sunshine. Sometimes it’s running and standing out in a downpour. And sometimes it’s seeing a baseball game down in a little valley after a long winter.

I think it stands to reason, though most times things like that will eventually come around, just like spring has to come back every year no matter how dark and cold winter is, sometimes, SOMETIMES it’s good to go looking for them for a change. Stop waiting until you're about to break down in a ditch somewhere, stop waiting until the deep sigh of “I really didn’t know how much I needed this.”

Spring is like hope and change and rest and new beginnings and all the good things humans need. Sure, we can sit around and wait for it to find us, to happen upon our passive lives, but sometimes spring really does take its sweet time in coming back around. Alternatively, we can go searching for it for a change, get up, stretch our legs, and go find our hope, be proactive and look for that new beginning that could rewrite the whole course of our lives.

There was something different about heading out and finding spring instead of waiting for it with such anticipation like I always do. Last year we road tripped in the spring, but it was all fairly north and though spring was just starting during our time of driving, this was different. I drove out of snow into green grass and blooming trees in one day. For the first time, I literally drove into spring and it came up and met me like a wave smacking the shore as if, for once, spring was waiting for me.

Fair winds, following seas, and God bless


Ps. A dear friend and fellow author’s debut novel released today! Castle Witch by Madeleine Elizabeth. When I get my hands on this book, I know I’m going to devour it. And if my opinion means anything to you, you should really check it out too! Check her out on Instagram!


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