It’s winter in California, and much needed rain is blanketing some parts. Wet, autumn-like leaves jumble themselves together on walkways, lawns and streets; evocative reminders, like multi-colored sticky notes, that the changes we’ve jotted down are just around a few warmer corners. Our fervent New Year’s resolves will finally thaw into a joyful, productive spring—or so we hope.
We can—at least— count on spring to warm our bodies with a fresh sun, the most perfect natural sphere ever plucked from God’s pocket. Soon, fragrant flowers will jut their heads confidently through ground we thought might stay concrete-dry for another eternal season. As they thrust their happy palette and delicate scents upon us, we will harvest these sweet promises like urgent bees gathering up powdery yellow pollen.
It’s likely, if we look closely, carefully folding back tender green blades, at the city park jungle (I’ve called it that since I was a kid—that teeming marketplace of shovel head worms, sow bugs, pincers and more—just under the grass) we will see an exoskeleton or two; a walking stick’s or perhaps, in the bushes, even a snake’s; near perfect replicas of their old selves.
Oh to have an exoskeleton; a reason to shed something we no longer need with regularity but without pomp and circumstance. Why do we humans find it so difficult to let go of that which does not serve us?
A recent conversation with a friend, one who has had the kind of hard-knock life that forges a deep, contemplative, beautiful soul, reminded me to give myself a body check. What am I carrying around that no longer serves me? Opinions, responsibilities, viewpoints, beliefs, habits, parenting styles, or even phrases I use?
It’s winter now, and I’m digesting this epiphany as fast as I can, like a ravenous tobacco worm munching leaf after leaf as she fattens herself up just before burrowing into the moist earth for her amazing transformation into a hawk moth.
What will I become? What kind of exoskeleton will I leave behind?