We celebrate the renewal of Spring, which as many know from long experience, is not a sure, steady thing, but can come in fits and starts. For instance, here in North Carolina, after days of near-Summer heat, we are faced with several hard freezes this weekend. This will certainly damage or even destroy many tender blossoms and the new growth of plants and crops. So, while the warming days of Spring will inevitably take us beyond the icy reach of Winter, we are still at the turning, and setbacks happen.
For gardeners and farmers, it is a reminder that we should pay attention to those good people who have gone to so much trouble to figure out what agricultural hardiness zone we are living in, and when it is actually safe to put out your tomato plants.
On another level, though, we can perhaps see it as a lesson about the changes now happening for so many people. As we awaken to our authenticity, and seek ways to become more juicy, we may encounter challenges.
For instance, for the past couple of days, I’ve encouraged you to think of twenty things that you loved as a child – wearing cowboy boots to 3rd grade, playing in cardboard boxes, building HO train sets, your mom’s latkes, to name a few that some folks have shared (please do continue to send those in to me! ).
But as we rummage through those memories, we are bound to encounter a painful one or two (or, sadly for some of us, many). This, like a late freeze that strikes just when everything was looking so gorgeous, can really try our souls. We may be tempted to slam the door shut and never visit those memories again.
What a loss that would be! For part of the treasure is the stretching and allowing. We receive with gratitude, not only the joyful, easy experiences, but we claim the painful ones, too. For that, dear reader, is one of the true sources of juiciness.
Juicy is never, ever about fabricated confections, but about what is real.
Margery Williams said it best:
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
— Margery Williams, from The Velveteen Rabbit