Change is in the air. Buds line the limbs of each tree I walk beneath. Freshly mulched flower beds dote on the young sprouts of daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips. My morning alarm is now the birds outside my window. Yesterday, I saw two, beautiful red-breasted robins, sitting, resting, in the branches of a backyard dogwood.
Spring is here. Finally.
And I can’t help but keep thinking to myself, “You came, and you did well to come: I needed you.” A favorite Sappho quote, perfectly fitting.
Because I did need this shift of season—I needed it badly. I needed the sunlight, the bright green grass, the lightness of dresses and flip flops and long, breeze-tangled hair. I needed warm afternoon runs. I needed to know the dark stretch of this past winter was fully behind me.
I needed to see the kind of change that is exciting and yet predictable, annual, and, thus, comforting in its arrival.
I needed the other changes I feel lately, too: the small, hopeful bloom in my heart, the shedding of all those heavy winter layers, the lessening weight of words once said and words never said at all. A wonderful sense of acceptance has overthrown the bitterness, hurt, and anxiety of these last few months. It has settled quietly within me, and I am glad for its stillness, its soft shine. It has pushed open my door, finally, in greeting, in welcome.
I look around and see so many other changes, too. Friends moving, baby bellies swelling, fingers sparkling with engagement promise, colleagues packing up their desks and moving on to the next great opportunity. Even my niece—she is trying so very hard to say full sentences now. She’s nearly two. My oldest nephew Jack turns six in roughly six weeks. I go home to Pennsylvania in a few days, and I am certain Stoneyway will even smell and feel and look different than it did just four months ago at Christmastime.
But, this is okay. Change came, and it did well to come.
I needed you.
In a yoga class last week, the teacher reminded us that what we do on our mats is change out of the day and the world around us and change into who we truly are. We unpeel ourselves, layer by layer, like the seasons stripping away the months before, until we are our naked selves. We stand nude to everything but our strength.
Our strength, I thought, and suddenly realized I am feeling much stronger these days—stronger in my conviction, my decisions, my heart, my yoga, my present life and the future life I am just now laying the path toward.
And I keep thinking—on my drives around Marblehead with the windows down, in my sweet morning conversations with Grace, in my sweaty hours atop my yoga mat, during my walks along the sun-filled stretches of sand at Devereux Beach, with nothing but a stone’s throw between me and the great, cold Atlantic ocean—that all this change must be, will be, for the good.
Because it is stripping me bare. It has forced me to unpeel the past.
I stand in my naked self.
And I am ready.