Renewal means something fresh, hopeful, forward.
Look it up: repair, rejuvenation, regeneration, rekindling, revitalizing, rebirth!
No other season symbolizes renewal like the coming of spring.
Reality is, as we waltz from one season to another, so do our problems (unless we do something about it). Still, writing this word inspires me: R-e-n-e-w-a-l
In Seattle, where I live, the plum and cherry trees announce spring’s arrival. Even the dullest of streets is now dressed up like a bride adorned in pink and white blossoms.
Sitting in my garden, gazing at the shy hydrangea flowers that are slowly peeping out of their buds, I’m pretty sure I can hear more birds chirping, and less sirens passing. Of course the world has not gone quieter nor are fewer ambulances are at work. It’s just me daydreaming in the warmth of the day, sipping fancy water with kiwi slices , not missing one bit the snow-siege winter we just had. I’m in my backyard and that’s what counts. Out of hiding! Facing new challenges head front – here I come!
On my way to the nursery I hummed cheerfully. This is going to be a good weekend. Hardly a gardener, I weeded ugly and planted beautiful.
That, and replacing the puffy sleeping-bag coat that shielded me all winter long with a new dress, were simple acts that symbolized to me this seasonal change.
But there are more profound aspects to my renewal journey.
As the license of my current relationship is expiring, I will soon be navigating in the world differently. A scary, sad, and difficult change, but at the same time necessary and even, dare I say, exciting.
Years back when I co-created the travel series Fantastic Festivals of the World we filmed some cultural events with renewal as their theme.
In Spain for example, Las Fallas is about burning monuments that local artisans worked on all year long, to make room for rebuilding better and more intricate creations (the wonderful Fallas Papier-mâché statues) only to burn them again the following year, making room for the next. As in the cycle of life, old makes room for new and the flow is constant and everlasting.
In Thailand each April the Songkran festival is a water-splashing extravaganza where nobody is spared a good bucket coming their way, cameras included. But the practice is rooted in the Hindu tradition of water purification. Water has a healing power we should never underestimate. How many times after a shower have we all said ‘Ahhh, I feel like a whole new person’.
In with the new, out with the old.
One final thought. When sending out the old, a word of gratitude and acknowledgement will serve us well. After all, the new will become the old soon enough.