Following many cold grey months, springtime settled in the void left by winter. Final vestiges of snow disappeared, sad remnants of a once strong army vanishing like the morning fog. Roused by the strengthening rays of the sun, plants rustled and stretched stiff limbs sunward, like sleepers waking from profound slumber. Temperatures moderated, nature grew bold, tiny leaves and buds peeked from bark ensconced sanctuaries. Sap thawed and flowed in the trees, pushing out soft yet spiky needles, like thousands of baby porcupines.
The eager vibrancy of the waking world stood in stark contrast to my mental state. Rather than tender new growth exploring the world, the plant of my season’s efforts had just bloomed, and would soon wither with exhaustion. It was finals week at college. Deadlines for semester-long projects were merely days away. I felt as though I were a plant, expending the last of its energy to produce a beautiful flower or fruit. Once mature, this fruit could be harvested and I could go dormant for a season. But I felt burnt out. I felt as if I’d already withered.
So in the midst of the finals week frenzy, I temporarily dropped out of school. Stepping out the door and inhaling deeply, I left all responsibilities behind. Like the plants, I too stretched, sending out tender buds to explore the springtime world. I walked slowly, my mind wandering over the landscape. I sat on the warm, damp ground and took in the new growth around me. Green. Light. Warm. Such a wonderful contrast to all that had consumed me in past weeks. All too soon, the tentative curiosity of spring would vanish. Plants would boldly jostle to collect the light of a strong summer sun, rather than timidly sending out gentle shoots. Summer would be a full-on race. This was a much softer time, a seemingly quieter time, a more relaxed time. An evening absorbing spring’s aura cleared my mind. Now I could return for the final push at school.