Monday, June 02, 2008


Spring symbolizes the simple beauty of life

Spring is a wonderful time of year. The earth shows us that some things in life are constant: flowers bloom, trees sprout shady leaves, and animals awaken. The short cold days of winter will blossom to the longer, warmer days of spring.

Springtime is a necessary transition according to the Law of Nature. Every year we are witness to the incredible cycle of life, which also reminds us that we must accept change in our own lives.

As the days grow warmer I start to clean out the winter debris from my garden. I habitually look for the beautiful crocuses that are always first to announce the spring, as they are a reminder of my mother.

When I was young, every year she cleared out our small garden to be able to see the very first signs of the green stems. When they finally bloomed, we stood in awe of their beauty and encouraging symbolism of new growth, new beginnings and new hope.

I planted the crocuses because my mother loved them, but she has been gone many years. When I found myself looking at those lovely flowers with sadness and nostalgia, I realized how hard change can be.

To find joy again in springtime, I started a new ritual with my own young daughter. She and I would go on “bud patrol,” examining every shrub and tree in our yard for signs of buds.

I still remember vividly our excitement when the first signs of spring were found! We looked forward to spending our days outside, taking walks, riding bikes and just enjoying the sunshine.

Now my daughter is grown and lives too far away for us to get together more than a few times a year. I miss sharing the spring with her, but she still goes on bud patrol, searching with her husband for new growth in her own garden.

Like the transition of the seasons, we will continually experience changes in our lives. Sometimes it’s easy to think that our greatest joys are in the past. To move forward amid the turmoil we must take responsibility to find happiness with each new turn.

James Bicford once said, "No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities - always see them first, for they're always there."

When each challenge is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow, it becomes easier to remember that you can always find love and healing in your life. Change is hard, but with it you can make fresh memories and rituals. There is always a new adventure waiting for you; what better time to embrace change than in the inspiring springtime.

Paula Novak, a registered nurse and certified Healing Touch practitioner, is the Clinical Coordinator for Healing Touch and Integrative Care at The William W. Backus Hospital. This column should not replace advice or instruction from your personal physician. E-mail Ms. Novak and all of the Healthy Living columnists at

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