There really is a definite stretch to the evenings, isn’t there? I have an alarm set on my phone to remind me to go and lock in our birds for the night. In the autumn, I kept on having to adjust the time earlier so that we could get out there before it got dark. Now though, it amuses me every time the alarm clucks my reminder, because it is still so bright! At around Christmas time, I had set it to go off at 4.30pm which was when it was really getting dusky. Now though, every few days I get to set it a little later.
Spring is a time of rebirth. I watch in wonder as what looked like scraggy grass, comes to life with new shoots of bulbs starting to push forth. My daffodils, though weeks away from flowering, are starting to make their presence known. It seems like overnight they erupt through the earth. Every year, I wonder how hard it must be for them: to unfurl themselves from their slumber beneath the earth and cast themselves skyward. Through the soil. Past stones and roots.
Often, it is the same for us when we want to start out on some new venture. The promise of the end result is certainly rewarding and pushes us forward, but to take that first step out of our comfort zone is the hardest. The greatest fear for most of us, is that we will not reach that end goal, so that most exciting part, starting, can already be tainted by the fear of failure. Perhaps it is easier to stay within our comfort zone, keep on doing what we know we are able for. That way, the risk of us falling, failing or forsaking is minimal.
We each have our own comfort zone, unique to our own lifetime. I would argue though, that the name itself it misleading. While it may bring us comfort - a feeling of safety - it holds us back and prevents us from doing great things: from enjoying new experiences, developing new skills and perhaps finding new passions.
Looking at those bulbs push their way to the surface, made me think of how I too can shy away from taking on new challenges. It made me wonder how many opportunities I had missed because it was easier not to take that first step.
Today as the clouds parted, I turned my face towards the sun and I felt warmth. It was as if those few early rays warmed my soul directly, stirring tendrils of hope for the growing season ahead. Everywhere I look, I am surrounded by new life - our pond filled with frog spawn, snowdrops ready to bloom and leaves starting to unfurl in the hedgerows – but there is the opportunity for new life and new growth in each of us too.
Spring, thank the Lord, is finally on its way and I am ready for growth.