The Windham and Raymond communities are filled with wonderful preserves and forests with many trails to hike, snow shoe, cross country ski and snowmobile. I live near one of those nature preserve and I attempt to walk an hour in nature with my dog every morning.
This provides an opportunity to see the seasons up close and observe the subtle changes as one season instinctively meanders into the next. I am happy to say, hidden beneath all the snow, spring is making her way into our lives.
There are many faint signs such as the countless birds singing profusely, slightly warmer mornings and the smell of earth wafting up from the thawing ground. But the thing that stands out the most to me is the birch tree.
Leaves that fill the trees in late spring have not yet opened, leaving the barks distinctly exposed. This is when the birch grabs my attention.
The symbolic qualities that have been associated with the birch are: New beginnings, adaptability and stability. It has also been said that during the time of the nomads, the bark from the birch tree was an important object and one of the few things they packed. They discovered it was a perfect fire starter - igniting even when it is damp.
I once majored in Philosophy/Religious Studies - among five or six other courses of studies before I settled on Leadership and Organizational Studies - so I can’t help myself associating symbolism to everyday life. Here it comes. You can stop reading now if you wish.
If we took the qualities of the birch tree and associate them to ourselves, are we able to keep our own spark going when we have been dampened by the harshness of this wonderful, and often, very crazy and challenging world? In this case, winter? I’d like to think so.
If not, that’s okay, there is always spring and another opportunity to give it a try. Much like the changing seasons, we have the innate ability to adapt to the ever-changing demands we experience. Without a doubt, it’s tough waking up from and long, harsh, cold winter. But much like the birch tree, we can stand tall and stable ourselves, bringing back to life that spark that puts bounce back into our everyday existence.
Spring is here. I, for one, am looking forward to those sunny and long days ahead, putting away those cumbersome snow shoes for sneakers and the heavy coat for sheer t-shirts. I am certainly looking forward to those easy adaptations “required” of summer with feelings of new beginnings and possibilities ahead.