Spring officially began on March 20th. Unfortunately, as the snow on the ground shows us, the weather and the spring solstice sometimes have little to do with one another. We curse Cleveland weather and its propensity to keep us frustrated and stuck in the cold. We can only anticipate warm weather to come through the markers of daylight savings time, growing light in the evenings, Easter, Passover. And yet somehow, somewhere in the midst of anticipation and disappointment, we blink and realize that the crocuses have popped, the buds have appeared, and the snow plows have gone into hibernation. The shift of season has occurred. This seems hauntingly psychological. And since the past several blogs have focused on our relationship to nature and psyche as a means of understanding ourselves in connection to the larger anima mundi, how might we conceptualize the coming of spring from a Jungian perspective?
In fact, spring is the spoils of the hard-earned work of autumn and winter. Buds and new growth are only possible because of the decay of the autumn and the dormancy of winter. The buds, the flowers, the greenery, come from things laid bare and stark. This death and re-birth cycle is a core piece of personal growth, as well. Mostly, though, and unjustly, we tend to value spring, the spoils of personal growth, without recognizing that emptiness and confusion, our personal winters, are its precursor. Perhaps an appropriate psychological lens to the coming of spring might be less a sense of a “thank goodness horrid winter and cold are leaving,” sentiment, and more a quiet celebration of the wisdom of nature that knows the process it needs to grow and flourish again. This wisdom guides our own psyche, and is at the root of the individuation process. Individuation is cyclical, not linear, just like the seasons. So ushering in this season, perhaps we can reflect on how indebted we are to the work of winter in bringing us the flowering or spring of new psychic energy. And now it is our responsibility to tend to the soil that has been prepared for us. Happy gardening!!