I shouldn’t be surprised. It happens every year. This year seemed especially sudden. I suppose it’s because we had some bone-chilling days and torrential rains. But after a couple warm, rainy days, the world seemed to explode in technicolor. The grass was greener than I’d seen it in months. Flowers quickly pushed upward, and a few bloomed for some sporadic pops of color. I live in the Midwest, where seasons are generally well-defined. The transitions happen every year although the specific timing differs. I shouldn’t be surprised, yet I often am. The change doesn’t actually happen overnight, as it is with most change, especially growth.
There was a lot happening unseen for days and weeks before. Plants went dormant, some insects continued to work, nourishment settled in and revitalized the soul and root systems. Water had been stored deep within some trees to keep them healthy. The cold hopefully froze what needed to slow, pause, or die.
Much of what we do with plants seems to begin in the spring. We plant, fertilize, water, and prune as the season progresses. But so much happens beneath the surface all around us—and within us. Growth doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a lot that is happening beneath the surface, and it’s important to be aware of it. Those under-the-surface dynamics can prepare us for growth or undermine potential with decay. As we grow, if we don’t pay attention to what is nourishing or robbing us, our indifference will soon affect the beautiful shades of color and brightness. It might not be indifference but distraction. Whatever the reason, our under-the-surface attention and efforts matter.
Instead of expecting or being surprised by overnight change, we can invest in the seasons of change—where one season transitions into another. We will always affect change; what direction of change we invest in depends on our attention.