How spring – and change – come slow and suddenly…

by Kari on March 21, 2014


“Ok, I love that starfish poem thing,” I started in on Jeff. He could tell a rant was coming. “And I agree–it’s worth it for one. It makes a difference for the one.  But what if it takes CRAZY agonizing effort just to get that ONE STINKING starfish back down the beach and into the water?? What if you are so exhausted from that ONE blasted starfish that you can’t just keep walking down the beach tossing more in?”

He smiled patiently. (His wife is prone to hyperbole.)

Yesterday was the first day of spring. Here in Oregon this is the day we all high-five and congratulate each other: “Woohoo! We made it through another winter!” We don our rubber boots and begin planting peas and wear shorts though it’s 50 degrees. It’s the same every year–spring brings no real surprises.

But it does always surprise me, because it comes so slow and suddenly.

All winter long, we stare at barren branches. We slog through mud and dash to our cars, ducking in the daily downpour. It’s a slow and arduous process — hibernation, saturation, germination.  It’s a long winter’s nap for all that needs to rest. It’s a long drink of water for a parched and thirsty earth. It’s a quiet time for seeds to settle in and soak up all they need to begin their slow trek upward.

Spring feels so slow to come.

In fact, in late February we always fear it might never show up.

But then, suddenly–it’s here. And I do a double take at the daffodils and when did all my pots fill with flowers (?) and almost overnight the cherry blossoms burst and everything’s impossibly pink.

cherry blossos

So sudden. It all comes so suddenly.

And our sweet starfish, Julie–it’s true there have been days it felt like it took every ounce of strength to drag this ridiculous starfish back into the water.

And it feels like slogging through the mud and even though we’re all indoors it sure rains everyday.

In fact, some days she downright pours on us. (smile)

But then, spring somes suddenly.

And we come home late Sunday and she comes out to welcome us, glowing face filled with peace and suddenly–everything feels right. Her here. Us here. All of it.

And I have to wonder, Is this spring?

And each day it gets a little better. I drive home Tuesday and find her out in the sunshine in a sundress, radio blaring, weeding the yard and singing to herself. And she comes in rosy-cheeked and bright-eyed and shared a miraculous story of an opportunity she had to love, forgive, bless. Her words, “I feel like I’m starting to understand God’s grace. Like, I feel like God’s love is permeating every cell of me, I can feel it. I’m starting to feel all this love for people. I think God is changing me.”

And I stand in the kitchen eyes brim full of tears and tell her YES, I think God is changing you, Love.

And it still rains, you know, even in the spring. There are no happily ever after endings, at least not before THE Happily Ever After ending-of-all-time. But even on the rainy days, the bitter cold is gone, and something’s changed, and isn’t that just how change happens?

So slow and so suddenly.

I see it in my kids. Their struggles. My struggles. I feel the slow, slow, agonizingly slow process where I wonder if I can possibly drag that dratted starfish into the sea.

But then I blink and we’re already there.

My dad always said it: Everything can change in a day. 

So whatever seems slow today–just hold on one more day

Spring–change–is coming ever so slow, and ever so suddenly. 

{For whatever winter you’re praying will pass–hold on one more day. Thanks for reading.}


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Strouth March 21, 2014 at 9:52 am

Absolutely!! Beautifully said!!


gabrielle March 27, 2014 at 10:10 am

It struck me today as I was driving in the fog and the rain–rain, we know, is a blessing from God–it nourishes our ground and causes things to grow. But it’s so strange that often this rain makes the day look so ugly, and I think that’s how it is with us. God is working in our lives and growing us, changing us, but often the process is dark and grey and sort of ugly and dismal. The rain is a blessing but the process is often difficult.


Camie April 6, 2014 at 8:12 am

I miss rain! I lived in Washington once, for 8 years. I loved the rain and how it made everything so lush and green. Despite so many days where the sun was behind clouds and rain drizzled, I’d marvel at all the green. So different from some of the desserts I’ve called home, where rain is a rare treat, but the sun is out in full glory every day. Such a contrast!


Marcie April 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Thank you for posting this. I have had a very long spiritual Winter that started last Fall. It has been a desert time, when my roots have been forced down deep, just to survive. But you are right, just as joy comes in the morning, I believe that Spring IS coming in my heart. What a joy that God gave us these pointers to himself.


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