Ironically, the first day of spring this year and the start of my spring break coincided with a snowstorm that brought a foot of snow and cancelled classes.
I never really liked spring. I treasure the four seasons that New England offers, but spring was always one I felt I could do without. The beginning of spring is always wet and soggy as the snow melts and the sun tries to peak through. You never really know what to expect when you step outside during spring until early June when summer starts to come. But spring is an important season nonetheless because it’s a transition period. In high school, spring was my busiest time of year and because of that I never really got the chance to appreciate spring, even with all it’s wavering weather and mysterious ways.
We live in a fast paced society where everything and everyone is constantly on the go. I know in the past I've been guilty of letting this fast paced lifestyle force me into thinking we don’t need things like spring. Why can’t we just fast-forward after winter right to summer, so we can enjoy the warm weather? But we do need spring; it’s nature’s way of telling us to slow down and appreciate.
In my philosophy class, we were asked to devote 45 minutes over our spring break to silent meditation. Though it seemed crazy and pointless at first, once I completed the exercise I realized why my professor gave us this assignment. He encouraged us to examine who we are outside of the pressures of society and while sitting in solitude. He offered us this quote that seemed to resonate strongly within me and opened my eyes to all I've been missing:
“We can busy ourselves so much with work, sports, social events, extracurricular activities, hobbies and movie going that we lose our souls. If we stay busy enough, we will never have to confront who we are in silence, solitude, and reflection.”
I've always tried to fast forward through spring, and I blame the pressure of society to move fast and brush over the seemingly insignificant. But now I've realized the real reason why we need spring. Nature could easily switch from the cold dark days of winter to the warm sunny days of summer, but instead it chooses to take the time to move slowly and gradually. I think we could all be taught a lesson by spring, one that teaches us to slow down and appreciate all that we have in life. So take a moment today to stop and smell the roses of spring, and don’t let them and the many other quiet but meaningful things in our life go unnoticed.
Emily Thomas is a college freshman at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts majoring in Chemistry and Secondary Education. Originally from Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Emily was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Massachusetts for 2012. Learn more about Emily here!