Across the prairies, life is unfolding a little bit differently than it has in years past. I hear the voices of chickadees and crows setting their boundaries as they always have, but the voices are a little clearer this time without the usual hum of traffic in the background. In fact, all of our relatives seem to appreciate the space that we have left them. The deer are grazing peacefully in the fields on the edge of town, the coyotes trotting brazenly down the streets in the darkness and the rabbits reasserting ownership of our parks. Their presence is a commentary on our collective restraint, like a breathy moment of gratitude for the opportunities our absence has presented.
From my back step, I draw in a deep breath that tastes of the season, wet earth and warming cedar. I notice Spring life in the buds on trees, and the fresh shoots of new plant growth which will provide medicine and nourishment in the coming months. The animals and birds will be preparing nests and bringing new lives into the world. As the days get longer and warmer, our spirits stretch out into the open spaces of our lives. The bright, warm sunny days lift our spirits and give us a renewed energy. Many of us are anxious to get outside and start planting our gardens, riding our bikes, hearing the birds and enjoying the warmth from the sun.
For me, this is how I expect spring is intended to trickle into our lives, step by tentative step, ears perked, noses wriggling, coming home.
Many spring teachings invite us to prepare for the coming season by repairing what was damaged over the winter, to make tools and land ready for our labour. But this spring brings its own teachings, lessons that I hope will stay with us for generations.
Our community has been rocked with change. As with any shift of this magnitude, there has been a great deal of fear and loss. However, there have also been many reminders about our power and resilience as a community.
The lessons I have learned this spring are about my own capacities, the power of my community and the resilience of nature. Each of us has been required to adjust to a new pace of life within our own spaces and this is how I learned to breathe again. Gaining the ability to create spaces for my own health allowed me to see the ways in which our community was doing the same. We literally wrapped around each other, learning to connect and communicate in new and innovative ways. Finally, this season, we have seen our world, our mother, take a long awaited and much needed deep breath of her own. The birds sing louder, the four leggeds roam more freely and the scent of warming cedar has the space to reach our noses.
I am filled with gratitude for all that each of you has sacrificed to bring in this spring and cannot wait to learn a new way to be together that allows the world its continued breath.