Bluebonnets. Cattle egrets. Springtime returns to Central Texas in pinks and yellows along the increasingly green ditches, in great flowering carpets on the side of the highway. This is my second real spring here, the second to follow a full winter in Texas, and it is as suprising to me as last year’s.blue-bonnets

The winters here are mild, and moderately green. It only freezes for a handful of days a year, and then, never hard. The dominant tree in the region, the live oak, is an evergreen, shedding its small round leaves, hard and slick as leather, in the spring as the new year’s leaves come in, and so keeps its green mantle the whole year round. It’s such a surprise, then, when the pale electric green of new growth sprouts in March, to realize that the eye has been starved for green. But spring here is no less a relief for following a mild winter–the whole body sighs with relief at the sign of the whole creation show kicking off another year’s performance of renewal and regrowth.

I have observed a very similar phenomenon in my own practice this past week. The prior week had been all dullness and drudgery, rote or skipped practices and the like. But last Saturday I returned to the mat eager, full of fresh energy, and emerged grateful. Though my practice had been in dormancy for just a few days, that fresh new growth made me feel just as joyful as I have been in years past, greeting spring after a long, hard Canadian winter.

Happens that I don’t realize until sated again how deeply starved I have been for green, for new growth, the freshness of wildflowers, riotous songs of birds, or real deep time on the mat. It is such a profoundly happy fact that the cyclical nature of seasons, of practice, always will bring you back home, where the old is new again.

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