With March comes a month of brown. I am out of my mind with glee that this month is not grey like February, or white like January. I'll take brown any day after the white and grey winter we've had.
We have a short, town-owned trail near our house. It meanders down the hill a ways and meets up with the property of a privately owned neighborhood. Those neighbors kindly let us neighbors walk on their muddy field paths to walk our dog and enjoy nature. I haven't been on the snowy trails in weeks, preferring to walk inside the warmth of the gym. But this week, after a few warm days arrived and melted the snow away, I took Gaia outside for a stroll in the brown afternoon, and realized something- the hard and often squishy truth that one brown is rather indistinguishable from another brown.
Spring is about letting go of the layers, letting go of the covers and walls and ropes that tied you in all winter. Spring is about opening up and breaking out of the shell you have been living in for months. But it takes balance to maneuver safely and without too much brown on your shoes. I think this is why spring comes on slowly. We need time to adjust, time to breathe deeply the new air, time to forget about how white everything was and begin to remember what brown looks like, and eventually green. It's the difference between driving your car through a nature preserve, and getting out and walking on your own two feet, picking your way along the path. They both get you there, but when you walk you get to experience so much more along the way.
This winter more than any other I am ready for the cold to end. I am ready for spring to arrive and allow me to shed my layers and rediscover the tiniest inklings of my own new growth. As always, I am not sure what I will find as I begin to reopen. How has the winter treated me, what new things have grown and changed inside, what will these days and months look like when I look back on this time?
Winter is good because the snow is so bright white that you can always see where the piles of dog poop are as you go down the trail. But spring is good because walking down a trail looking for signs of new growth, picking your way between this brown and that brown, is one of the best ways to keep in balance.