- Reirani Taurima
Renewal- Black and white stone floor with two green sprouts popping through the cracks

It’s Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere, and renewal and regeneration is on everyone’s mind. We’ve come out of a long, cold Winter once again (think Alaska if you’ve never visited the bottom of the World!). Lambs are being born all over the countryside here where we live, and our food garden is showing signs of life too.

Springtime is a great reminder that out of the darkness comes light, and out of seemingly “no way”, a way IS made. That’s what’s happening to my Garlic anyway, which despite nearly two weeks of constant frost has just poked through the soil and is saying to the world “I don’t care what you throw at me, I‘m HERE!”.

I love the analogy of Nature, because it seems for every struggle we humans face psychologically, Nature has an example of how to WIN!

Take “renewal” – which in nature is simply part of the cycle of life, and death.

Renewal is what happens after degradation, decomposition, and hibernation.

It’s part of the four seasons of each year,

and it’s also part of us.

Did you know that WE renew every seven years? Our skin, hair, nails, every cell on our body dies out over that time, and is remanufactured and replaced. That means that the body you had seven years ago is not the same body you have today. Cool huh?

What doesn’t Renew?

If every cell in our bodies is made new every year, why don’t we feel that different than we did 8 years ago? Other than aging, which seems to become more apparent for those of us over forty, most people don’t feel like they’re a whole different person than they were just a few years ago. That’s because what doesn’t change – not without a lot of conscious work on our part – IS our mindset.

Some of our characteristics are positive, and don’t need to change. Others tend not to serve us so well. Feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, “not-enoughness”, despair, depression, those can become “stuck” in our minds, like settings on a broken thermostat. No matter how warm the room gets, we’ll usually always cool it back down to our unique setting.

For many of us, that setting can’t easily be reset. It can’t be renewed.

The World can be a Frosty Place

It’s not been an easy few years with the drastic changes that Covid brought to our way of life. Many of us lost jobs, loved ones, homes, businesses, and even a sense of who we are in the Pandemic. It’s easy to see when we look around at the state of the world why for some people, renewal is hard.

You might be feeling like you’re still in a Winter of sorts yourself. I think it helps to acknowledge that if you are feeling that way, it’s normal. Your hibernation is yours alone, no one can tell you when to come out of it. When to “feel better” about how things are. You can however, orient yourself towards the light and trust that you are part of Nature and that the impetus of Life itself is that no matter what, you will grow.

Faith in Renewal

The picture above has been represented in word and prose throughout the ages. It’s the story of the blade of grass pushing up through the concrete. We see this everywhere, no matter the season. Grass grows through cracks in the sidewalk all across the planet. It’s Nature’s demonstration to us that something tiny, weak, and easily broken, can prevail over something rock hard and impenetrable.

Grass seeds, as with all seeds, have no thoughts about whether they’ll “make it” or not. Well, at least we don’t know that they think about things like that. If they did I would guess their mindset would be akin to what we Humans call Faith. Not in the religious sense, but simply in the sense of the word itself.

Faith is otherwise described as “A hope in things not yet seen”. Aka: just because you can’t see the way through, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Meditation as a form of Renewal

I think we often get in the way of our own growth, and that we’d do well to take a leaf (no pun intended) from Nature, and learn better how to surrender. If you have trouble with “surrendering to what is”, meditation is a great skill to develop. Meditation simply helps to quiet the mind, which is exactly how we surrender – by quieting the mind.

Steve has a wonderful guided meditation that you can get here. People tend to confuse surrender with quitting, but it’s not. It’s allowing. Which is exactly what the grass blade does.

IF the grass seed thought “What if I’m in the wrong place?”, or “What if I was meant to be planted over there?”, or “What if I can’t do it?” it might not open and surrender itself to the light above – which is of course what makes it grow!

It’s like that with us, and we all do it. No one is immune to it. We all self-sabotage from time to time. Those same thoughts can plague us, making us “spin and toil” as they say, rather than surrendering to the impulse of Life and letting it grow us.

Every Spring, a Renewal

Growing our food the way I do now has taught me  a lot about Renewal, and how to trust that it WILL happenI can’t say I have a green thumb, but I know that if I place a seed in the ground it WILL grow. How fast it grows depends on a lot of factors (much like our own lives!), but it always grows. I’m always amazed, despite how many times I’ve seen it now.

If you ARE experiencing a dark time in your life, and thinking that maybe it’s your fault, or there’s something wrong with how you’re doing it, or that you’ve been planted in the wrong place, I hope you glean some light from these ideas, and that you look for those ways that the natural world around you is demonstrating, trust, and faith in things unseen.  No matter where it’s planted.

For some added insight into renewal as a practice, check out this article:

To Life, especially Yours!

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