This week is spring break—and while some of our friends are traveling to warmer climes, we’re at home, running errands in the rain.

 march-crocus           As much as I wish I were someplace warm, I love this time of year, this time of hope. When the sun peaks through, I’m out in the garden, where it appears at first that all is still brown: dead leaves, dead stems. But a bit of judicious trimming and careful clearing reveals that growth is afoot. And despite the wild swings in temperature, the crocuses have emerged. They return each year, but I never tire of the thrill of seeing that first shock of yellow in my mostly brown yard.

            I don’t have to do anything to make the crocuses, which I planted as bulbs years ago, come up. That is just what crocuses do.

            In both front and backyard gardens, I have sedums, which bloom in the fall. Their thick stalks are now brown and hollow, so when I first approach, they look like this:





But at the base of each dead stem, new buds are forming. I trim the old away carefully, to reveal a little nest of new growth.




            Have you planted things in your life that routinely bring you joy, like the crocuses?

            Does your soul sometimes feel like the first picture, of dead leaves and useless stems? Are there ideas, activities or thinking patterns that need to be cleared carefully away to make room for new growth? Do you simply need to create some space?

            What’s going on in the garden of your soul?