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Over the course of just a few short days the light has changed – shifted subtly- and spring has arrived. At first only the delicate buds forming on the barren branches of our trees were noticeable, then a few bulbs began pushing their way through the earth exploring the warm air above their wintery caves. Now there is a virtual parade of beauty to behold. Without exception, every tree, every plant, every creature is bursting forth with renewed energy and joy. Transformation is happening right before my eyes during this brilliant display of nature’s awesome power. It is happening so fast I cannot soak it all in, try as I might.

Small, magical bits of color and fragrance keep finding their way inside our home. These gifts of spring are pushing and shoving away the dull and motionless energy still lingering around from a very gray winter. They are vibrant perfection. The colors – from the palest of pinks to the most saturated of yellows and oranges – are all such wonders to behold. By disappearing for a while every year, by fading into the cold and washed-out tones of winter, we are able to appreciate them fully and with our whole hearts as they re-emerge every spring. They are brand new, their beauty renewed, once again.

Every image I capture during these first days of spring still possesses an element of winter’s weary grays and browns. These last remnants of the cold and dark serve as a perfect canvas for the brilliant hues of spring popping out everywhere. I believe our experience of spring is heightened when we see it held in contrast to winter – one setting the stage for the other. This is in nature as it is in our lives – joy felt more fully after sorrow.

The children are finding their way back out into the world without the cumbersome trappings of colder weather. Bare feet feel so good, even on ground still holding the chill of a fading season. Food tastes so bright and alive when eaten out in the fresh air, a gentle breeze snaking around your naked arms and legs.

The world, and we, feel open and excited to reconnect after being safely nestled away for so many months. Our arms and hearts are wide open, ready to both offer and receive during this season of abundance.

Yes, there is still laundry to do and a move to be planned. Yes, there is still Lyme Disease medication to take and a harsh liver detox to endure. Yes, there are still bathrooms to clean and floors to sweep. Yes, there are still ants in the kitchen. No, none of the pressures or responsibilities of everyday life have eased. But how can you do anything but stop and smile in complete and utter gratitude when you are privileged enough to witness – to be a part of – so much beauty?

Today I revel in gratitude.

I am grateful for the sun and for the flowers.
I am grateful for the warmth and for the joy.
I am grateful for the love and for the smiles.
I am grateful for this time of transformation.

Take a moment to look around… What do you see? What are you grateful for?