permission to move slowly
Jillian Arsenault — April 26, 2022
It’s spring, officially. Today in my little corner of the northern hemisphere it was sunny and hot for the first time in well over 6 months. I’ve felt the season changing for weeks now; the impending emerging of what has been resting, restoring, and replenishing itself underground. And something about the process of spring springing itself slowly into action has had me bracing myself.
Like I’m not. Quite. Ready.
But why? (There’s the self-shame). I LOVE spring: seeing the animals coming out and engaging with one another, watching the buds begin, and the way the world takes on a little bit more colour. It oozes vitality and I’m infatuated with every moment of it.
I consider myself a seasonal being: I feel my body begin to slow down in the fall with the shorter days. And during the winter I need lots of rest and sleep. Usually in spring I feel a newness, a surge in life force. But this year, my body doesn’t feel ready to wake up yet.
I’m still tired.
Maybe it’s the two-ish years of a pandemic, or all the changes happening in my personal life, or the trauma healing, the deep descents, or the nervous system rewiring… but whoah. My system isn't ready to come out of hibernation yet. I’m not ready to bloom. I’m not ready to burst open. I need more time here, in this quiet little underground, for a little bit longer. This place where I can keep my breath a little slower and tend to my healing wounds. It's like if I move too quick, they’ll tear back open, and I’ll have to start over.
What I’ve been dreading is the feeling that I “should” have spring in my step.
But what I noticed today as I did my usual walk in the forest, was that most of the trees are still bare and bud-less. Most plants are still quietly, patiently waiting under the earth.
Because not all of life opens at the same time.
Some trees and flowers take longer than others. They move a little more slowly. They know it’s not quite time yet and stay patiently gestating under the soil, growing their roots deeper before they’re ready to emerge.
And they will. Life's impulse is to reach full bloom, but always in it's own right timing. Sustainably and regeneratively.
So, this is a gentle (and necessary) reminder to self: where you are in the process of your own unfurling is right where you need to be. Your pace is perfect. And since you yourself are an aspect of nature, the timing of your budding is no more wrong than the timing right outside your door.
Take all the time you need. It will be so very worth it.