Spring will come and so will happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer.

 — Anita Krizzan

The calendar does not agree with what is happening here in my part of the world. Spring is weeks away. Spring – the season of renewal, rebirth and, for me, hope. The signs are all around me in the early flowering trees, ground-level clumps of green that promise of things to come. There are scattered tulips, iris sprouts and daffodils making their processional appearances in haphazard ways. And, of course, there are the daffodils and dandelions, the hyacinths and hellebores popping up everywhere. They’ve all been waiting, like us, patiently enduring and persevering through the bulk of winter – silently, underground. In the darkness and cold of winter, hope lives on the edge. It’s that hope that carries us through to the next season, in nature and our lives.

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring. (Bernard Williams)


I’ve felt for a long time that the first color and the first flower of spring is the much maligned yellow dandelion. It’s the flower that most would rather not come and the one that most want out of their yards. And, yet, often, it is the first food for the bees in places that are slow to otherwise bloom. Often, they are “taken out” before their magnificent seed pods can be blown by the wind of our lips. Make a wish.

Yellow may be among the first colors that stand out as winter wanes and spring seeps up from the dormant ground. But even the dandelions grow out of a green base, the dominant color of nature, growth, rebirth and hope. For me, green is the color of life, renewal and freshness. Yellow the color of hope, happiness and uplifted spirits. As the yellows and greens take hold, the hues of purple and pink emerge boldly and softly.

Where flowers bloom, so does hope. (Lady Bird Johnson)

In the springtime, the heart regrows hope. (Angie Weiland Crosby)


I cannot imagine a life without hope, though there have been times when holding onto it have been challenging. Remaining hopeful through the “winters” of our life are hard, but essential. It’s made a bit easier if I think in terms of the metaphor of seasons. Hope allows us to anticipate … growth, change, and something better. When I look to the resilience of nature on a daily, monthly, annual and longer durations, hope remains. I’ve never been able to “clear my head” within the confines of four walls.

The clearing begins when I step outside and walk … or sit. Something about sunlight in my face and all around begins the process. Even in winter, the sun sends warmth. Even in winter, the sun gives light. And, then, there are the sounds of the wind, on its own and rustling through the leaves of trees, gently or wildly. And the winds carry the scents of new growth and freshly opened blooms. The birds, even if only a few, fill the space with their songs and chirping; the squirrels pipe in with their skittering and chatting in the trees. And, then, there’s the nearly silent fluttering of butterfly wings.

If we had no winter, the spring wouldn’t be so pleasant. (Anne Bradstreet)

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. (Audrey Hepburn)


Sometimes, it’s necessary to sit still and close my eyes to slow down, to appreciate the opportunity that nature is providing for me to release the concerns of the day for even a few moments.  Sometimes, we have to close our eyes to catch our breath and be open to seeing the better side of a tiresome, troublesome time. When we sit in nature, it is possible to observe the millions of miracles before us in the tiniest of tender shoots, the smallest of creatures and the meticulous design, timing and beauty. Nature provides. Nature nourishes.

When I sit and wait with my eyes closed or take a walk, I try to be quiet. I try to stop talking out loud or to myself and just listen. I try to be still and open with my eyes, ears and heart. Ultimately, it is in the “quiet” and stillness of nature that healing begins. It is nature that gives me hope. It is nature that quiets and calms my soul.

Now, today, as I write these words, there in the yellow and greens, pinks and purples of early spring where I live, hope springs forth. Winter is passing, and each new day brings another reason to be hopeful. Each new day offers another reason to not give up or give in. It must. And, it will.

The earth laughs in flowers. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The deep roots never doubt spring will come. (Marty Rubin)


With my camera in hand, through my lens, if I stay long enough, my soul finds rest. I find hope for the moment. Angst and discouragement fade and fall away. Many, many years ago I learned in a field of wildflowers that connecting with nature through my camera was more than something to do. It is a way for me to heal and grow. At the right times, when I need it most, I find something through my viewfinder that draws me into another world. It is in that lost sense of time and place that I find rest and restoration. In those moments, nothing else exists. My mind is emptied and my heart is filled. It happens most often with flowers. Something about, no, everything about the flowers draws me in and fills me with awe and wonder and hope. I must have these moments of immersion, no matter the season. Being out in nature, with or without my camera, is the best and richest therapy I know. It’s like having the most nourishing nature counseling session, filled with light.

I know I am not alone in this. I have shared this with others, and they heartily agree. Photographers and other visual artists need nature’s healing and rejuvenation. It’s one way to find peace, hope and rest. Nature is much needed light for our souls.

Never yet was a springtime when the buds forgot to bloom. (Margaret Elizabeth Sangster)