Imagine what a seed must go through – there it is, all cozy and warm, surrounded by a familiar darkness, getting to know the dirt particles around it and the worms next door. Then, suddenly, WHAM! Spring hits. All of a sudden all of these changes start happening. Suddenly it's grow, grow, grow, push, push, push. The seed can no longer stay in its nice, comfy home – it has to move upwards into a new and unknown environment.
Of course, we on the outside are unaware of all of this. All we do is look around and talk about how “Spring is in the air!” and admire the beautiful flowers. We admire the changes around us, unaware of what it's like to experience it firsthand.
Yet, there's a reason Easter comes in the springtime of the year. During this liturgical season, we are called to mirror the growth and changes we see around us as part of the environmental season. We are called to do the hard work of pushing ourselves outward and upward, opening ourselves up in new and unfamiliar ways, and exploring different and challenging environments. We are called to transform ourselves, to recreate ourselves anew, and to discover what God has planned for us next.
Here at the novitiate, talk of change is definitely in the air. Though our year here still has several months left to go, we are already noticing changes in ourselves and our relationships, and there's talk of how we will carry these changes back to the familiar soils of our home communities. What types of flowers are coming into bloom here in St. Louis, and will they mix well with the home gardens? How will we change the environment around us, and what change will it work on us? At this point it's difficult to see where things will go. It's like waiting for the bud to open so you'll know the flower's color – there's no way to tell! But that's OK – at this point, we should be less concerned with the final color of the flower and more invested in making sure it's the biggest, brightest, healthiest flower it can be! Onwards and upwards! Grow, grow, grow!