Here in Seattle, we are drenched in record-setting amounts of rain. Learning to welcome what’s in front of me – this season of transition into spring, into change – is blurred by an overwhelming sense of saturation.

I wonder if you feel this way, too. It’s not just the literal change from winter to spring. Wherever you are, whether the weather is rainy or dusty, cold or humid, it seems that the collective landscape of our lives these days is inundated.

Inundated with exhaustion, anxiety, concern. Inundated with the desire to stay connected to each other in a time when we have so much on our plates.

How do I welcome a new season when I am bogged down in details and concerns? This is another way of asking: How can I welcome change?

Staying open to welcome even when we are overwhelmed is vital to our wholeness. Giving and receiving welcome is the first of our Circle of Trust Touchstones and for good reason – it’s where we start. It’s how we begin.

I am standing here in my own mud season learning how to welcome the change that our seasonal deluge brings, its great beckoning to spring.

“Blackbirds” by Julie Cadwallader-Staub is a guide for me in this season, evoking a lovely posture of welcome for this time of change in the year, and in our lives:

I am 52 years old, and have spent
truly the better part
of my life out-of-doors
but yesterday I heard a new sound above my head
a rustling, ruffling quietness in the spring air

and when I turned my face upward
I saw a flock of blackbirds
rounding a curve I didn’t know was there
and the sound was simply all those wings
just feathers against air, against gravity
and such a beautiful winning
the whole flock taking a long, wide turn
as if of one body and one mind.

How do they do that?

Oh if we lived only in human society
with its cruelty and fear
its apathy and exhaustion
what a puny existence that would be

but instead we live and move and have our being
here, in this curving and soaring world
so that when, every now and then, mercy and tenderness triumph in our lives
and when, even more rarely, we manage to unite and move together
toward a common good,

we can think to ourselves:

ah yes, this is how it’s meant to be.

Where do you find “rustling, ruffling quietness” in your days?

Which surprises in nature help you welcome the change in seasons?


Terry Chadsey
Executive Director

P.S. Embrace and celebrate welcome at a Courage & Renewal program. Find a program near you.

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