On this early April day I have two different quotes for you, both about the month of April yet each expressing very different opinions about the month.
"April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain."
"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything."
The first one has a strong pull of nostalgia, there's a pain, an absence, a longing for the lilacs of, remember when. The dull roots of the mind, the spring rain of memory. Pushing something that will happen but never in the way we remember.
The second one releases all that. It is free to experience the month in youthful abandon. Not the youthfulness of your past, no, but instead with a youthful essence and openness, experiencing the moment, where you allow all things to be possible. Not anticipating the flower, but being in awe when finding one.
Lately I've been considering the mind. Recently, all of us have had our 'normal' completely tossed to the side. People are coping, processing, reacting in many different ways.
But like the two quotes above show us, it's all up to us to decide how we react.
At a time where so much is out of our control (fellow control freaks I see you) the one thing you can always control is your reaction.
I'm not saying don't be sad, don't mourn, by all means roll around on the floor sobbing into pillows, this is a hard time. But then stand up, look the situation in the eye, and say We Will Get Though This.
Each of us has responsibilities in this situation, stay home, social distance, when out staying 6ft away from one another, and the responsibility of the mind, we will get through this, we must make the best of the situation within the parameters we have.
Along with the initial shock of the situation and losing both of my jobs, I have been holding a heavy guilt. A guilt that even now I'm having trouble writing for fear of being misconstrued.
I have been feeling terrible because I am thrilled.
No I am not thrilled about the masses of folks sick and dying, nor for the small businesses unsure if they'll be able to continue on after this. I am not thrilled about not seeing friends, family, or participating in events. These are terrible things and I mourn deeply for them.
I am thrilled, however, about the impeccable timing; this is a magical time of year to be outside. Naturalists rejoice - we have an audience and they are in the woods! Wanting people to appreciate nature, they must first experience the magic that it is.
In a time so uncertain it is unbelievably reassuring to know that first the skunk cabbage will bloom, then the ducks will migrate through, the tree buds will open next, followed by the ephemerals blooming, the songbirds will migrate through, and the trees will fill with leaves...
Coming back to nature can bring so much more than just fresh air and exercise, it can bring a sense of something so much bigger than our personal worlds. In these times it can be a huge comfort.
This time can be looked at both ways, as a terrible tragedy and as a blessing. And I think we should (look at it both ways). We should make the most of the time we have to enjoy and appreciate what we can (again, within the parameters we have).
Just like the two quotes above, remember, you are in charge, only, of how you react.
Let's allow the spirit of the season move us.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.