From the beginning, the key to renewal has been the casting off of old skin.” Mark Nepo said that in The Book of Awakening, and spring is the time of year we are reminded that casting off is good. It is part of the cycle of nature, intention, resurrection, revitalization. Furry animals shed their winter coats, shells of baby birds crack open to be left behind – their work done.
We humans have our own form of shedding as we begin yard, garage and closet cleanups. We gratefully open windows to let fresh spring air blow through our homes taking with it the indoor winter environment that served us well but is now released with our appreciation and a blessing.
This casting off and clearing out is something we can do anytime – not just in our physical world, but also in our behavior, our outlook and the choices we make. As human beings, we have an advantage many in the non-human animal kingdom don’t have: retrospection. That retrospection allows us to reflect on what serves us and what does not.
Spring renewal can be a time of that reflection. Maybe the longer, light-filled days will help us to better see which of our habits and perceptions are best left behind and which we should take forward in our own rebirth. Maybe our shedding begins with appreciation and a blessing for what went before, so we can choose carefully what we bring forward.
So as we surface, we take a deep breath and a good look…and begin again.