Ice. Snow. Spring? Last week the church school where I work took its “Spring” Break. Spring Break actually came early, due to two snow days at the end of the week before. Spring technically begins on March 20th, at the end of this week. When I was growing up we would sometimes refer to Spring Break as “Dreary-Weather Break,” because it never seemed to quite line up with what we think of as the bright, warm feeling of Spring. And even once Spring has technically begun, the warmth often seems to take its time about coming. One year when I was in college, we were all "fooled" into thinking Spring had arrived, when we woke up on April 1st to one of the largest snowfalls of the winter.
I was recently reminded of something said in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, and that is that the rational (higher) part of our mind is regenerated before the natural (lower) part of our mind (see Secrets of Heaven 3493). Spring comes to our rational mind before it comes to our natural mind, just like Spring technically arrives before it often feels like Spring. In other words, we might sometimes feel frustrated that even though we’ve learned something about how to live our life better, and rationally committed ourselves to being a more useful, loving person. . . we can still feel stuck in our natural bad habits, like being stuck in the snow and ice during Spring Break. It doesn’t feel fair or right. And yet stepping back and looking at the big seasonal picture reminds us that we have made enormous progress since the middle of Winter. Spring is coming in our minds, even with snow and ice on the ground of our lives.
This is one of the reasons why practicing mindfulness can bring us into a state of peace. Mindfulness gives us the bigger picture, and allows us to experience hope in the present as we trust in the Lord’s guidance amidst the confusing seasonal changes of our minds. Spring is coming.