Spring is in the air. Flowers nod in the wind. Rain drips off our railing. Our lenten rose is blooming profusely. Earlier in the year, its first flowers sparked hope for renewal, even as the news forecast snow. Now it has come into its own.
Every year I look forward to spring and the sense of fresh life that it brings. This year even more so. Living through a pandemic has felt like a year-long winter. In 2021, spring coincides with the arrival of vaccines and tentative re-openings of schools and businesses.
The thing is, although I’m excited for change and the freedom I associate with warm weather, I’m a little scared too.
Something I noticed happening to me after a decade of being home full time was that I was becoming a hermit. I found myself anxious about going out, even if it was just to the grocery store. In 2019 I began pushing myself to try new things and meet new people, despite my discomfort. That effort led to some wonderful experiences. Then the pandemic hit.
In some ways, it was easy for me to retreat back into my nest. I’ve got a lot of experience in here. But there’s no doubt that I felt like my wings had been clipped. Writing has been my escape, as has bullet journaling and reading. I’ve traveled in my imagination and in my doodles. I’ve gone on adventures through fiction.
But I am aching for the larger world beyond my home. The sliver of highway I see from my window has transformed from an eyesore into a welcome dose of people and travel.
I suppose that the freedom and freshness I crave will come in fits and starts. Stepping out, retreating back, stepping out again. Spring is like this. Early flowers get covered in snow, but eventually it becomes so warm that it’s hard to even imagine cold. I shouldn’t expect emerging from my hermitage to go smoothly or happen quickly.
Revising my novel has a similar feel right now. Up till this point, revision has mostly consisted of re-outlining and drafting new scenes. (Two thirds of my scenes had to be rewritten from scratch.) But now I am editing what’s there. I’m moving in fits and starts. The work feels slow and unfamiliar. I’m not sure how to measure progress.
I think eventually I’ll get into a better flow with my editing, as I have in the past with my writing. I hope I will. And I look forward to a time when we can all get back into the flow of life.
How does spring feel to you this year?
P.S. As I finished writing this blog post, a hail storm covered our deck in ice pellets. In the few minutes it took me to get my phone ready for a picture, most of it had melted. The fits and starts of spring…