Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring’s in the Air

Finally, in all its fragrant force and dewy sparkle, spring is singing the song of rebirth. If this sounds like a bombastic and overwritten first sentence, so it is. This is how it looks from my window. Nature in overdrive.

Two species of birds have built nests outside, and the parent-birds are busy bringing wiggling worms to their babies. The maple tree in the backyard burst with green, where only weeks ago its branches looked like skeletal fingers. An eruption of weeds looks so gorgeous and flowery that I have no thought of pulling them out just yet.

But something in me is uneasy.

I had wrestled with spring-uneasiness for years, not knowing its source. Yesterday I ran into this quotation from Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first President and a renowned scientist: “Miracles sometime occour, but one has to work terribly hard for them.” By definition, Miracles are supernatural. But to me life in all its forms is the greatest miracle. Here is a miracle I didn’t work for. I didn’t earn it.

I go through this every time there’s good news. I ask what I’ve done to deserve it. In this case what I’ve ‘done’ is live through a winter. Not enough, by any measure.

I think it’s more than my Jewish DNA to be suspicious of the glorious and the good. The echo of my grandmother saying, “why should it be easy when it can be hard?” is a small part of my discomfort at unearned gifts. {I can see you slapping your forehead in disbelief; thinking- is she complaining about spring now? But you didn’t have my grandmother.}

The bigger part is the voice that wishes to make sense of experience. The writerly need to find moral patterns in everything. Miracles earned, and misfortunes deserved. This is at the heart of this wrong turn.

And spring, with its bounty of gifts, is an affirmation of my error. Spring just is.
©Elina Lorenz


  1. I have a suspicion of good fortune and miracles also. I think once you've lived through death and destruction, you're afraid to be too happy in case the fates are just waiting to snatch it away from you.

  2. A lovely post, Mirka! I think just appreciating it (the beauty, new life, fresh air, etc.) at face value is the most basic, uncomplicated approach. I love the flower art!

  3. My mother would say something like that! LOL. We do not deserve any of it ... but it is all a gift, a grace ... showered on the good and bad alike. How amazing it is, no?

  4. I suspect a lot of it IS inherited, Mirka. Too many generations of bad things happening probably affects the personalities that are passed on just as much as specific genes affect eye color, etc. The happy-go-lucky ancestors--the ones who didn't worry about Cossacks around every corner--probably didn't survive to pass on their genes. Add to that the anxiety of the immigrant experience... It's a wonder any of us are remotely sane.

  5. Every once in awhile I realize that I am living a good moment. I try to savor it and remember it- that at this time life was as good as it gets. It doesn't have to be like winning the jackpot or a prestigeous award, just savor a simple moment of "all's right with the world".I think that was your spring feeling.

  6. "Why should it be easy when it can be hard" this made me smile. My husband thinks like that.

    When I find myself enjoying undeserved moments of goodness, I stop and give thanks. God is good!

  7. Your description of spring is as beautiful as the wild flowers I saw today! You're right...we don't deserve it, but it's God's gift of grace to us. Enjoy!

  8. Oh Mirka, this post really made me smile :) Or maybe it's your grandmother who makes me smile. If you don't deserve spring neither do I. None of us deserves spring, maybe that's the whole point of it. God grants us countless blessings we don't deserve, not the least of which is spring.

  9. I love the spring (and fall actually). The weather here has been crazy though, so it doesn't truly feel like spring. Well, one day it does and the next it's summer, then winter. Craziness.

    1. I'm sure you don't deserve craziness, Kelly.

  10. I'm glad you're having a lovely spring experience, dear Mirka. It's been extra beautiful here and spring came early--we had almost no winter this year. I agree with those who view such pleasures as gifts from God. He loves us dearly and delights in showering us with good things. Doesn't mean there won't be plenty of hard times in life. That's part of the life experience. We probably wouldn't appreciate the good if good is all we had. But I also think there are a lot more of the beautiful gifts around us than we take the time to notice. Here's a quote I like (even if I happen to be the person who wrote it LOL)--"The beauty around us awaits our awareness."