It's a Spring Thing

May 02, 2022

Photograph by Juliet Lofaro

As we cross the bridge between seasons, we are reminded of both the fragility and fierceness of nature that resides within each of us

Did you ever think about how Spring is like life? Well, if you spent one in the Catskill Mountains you would surely know what I’m talking about. 

It’s a favorite time of year for many (which I can totally appreciate) — a time of new beginnings, blooming, a sense of rebirth in the natural world — but it can also be quite dramatic and volatile. I’m secretly a winter lover and “spring” with all its awakenings also means, hurry up and get going…the garden needs to be opened and cleaned, we need to scramble to find more staff, the summer crowds are on their way! This energy rush jolts me into a new restaurant reality (and frenzy).

Adjustments can be tricky to navigate, but just as I try to remind myself…stay calm, we always work through it

Spring reminds me who is boss. For example, just recently as the first bursts of bright yellow began to pop up everywhere with the budding forsythia bushes and daffodils scattered about, brightening and illuminating a gray landscape…we received word of an impending winter storm with feet of snow, ice and winds expected. Nooooo. That was so last chapter (or season). Let’s move on.  

Of course, we’ve had those spring storms in the past, but they are jarring after we’ve experienced warm days where we removed our winter layers thinking she had passed. And worse yet, those storms can destroy the spring flowers, that felt like a lifeline, as fast as they bloomed. 

The good news is that we were actually spared. The storm hit neighboring towns and I could see the mountaintop covered in white snow, but the forsythia in Woodstock survived. I whispered a quiet thank you to God. 

Hey, life and Mother Nature will throw us disruptions but there truly is only one thing to do — and that is to slip into its embrace and get clear on what we can control.

If I could’ve saved all the flowers, I would’ve run around and covered them all in blankets. It was the same with a trip I took last month to get away to the beach for a few days. While the days with my toes in the sand and the warmth on my skin were amazing, the bookends of travel delays and flight cancellations and not-so-great customer service in the restaurants and hotel (I notice everything) — were a little hard to swallow. 

And yet, it was all out of my grasp, everything but how I responded to it. 

I’m trying to approach this all differently these days — and to leave space to change my mind. For example, when I began to feel extremely overwhelmed with mounting business and personal obligations, I tried to ask myself where I could give myself a little wiggle room. 

You may have noticed that I didn’t assemble a newsletter last month. It’s the first time in years that I skipped a month. And while this is beloved space to share and connect with you, I didn’t want to put anything forward in that energy of constriction. Guess what? The world didn’t fall apart. We apply so much pressure to ourselves in unnecessary ways. Can you relate?

Another big shift in my life that I’ve been navigating is that my daughter has decided she no longer wants to be home-schooled and has entered public high school. I don’t tell you this as a commentary on the merits of either path of education, but rather because I think a beautiful gift we can give ourselves (and our children) is flexibility and the room to make a different choice.  Life is for exploring. 

I don’t know how any of it will work out, but I know that life will continuously give me new opportunities to take a path and see how it feels.

If it doesn’t feel right, I can take a new path. Spring in all of her volatility reminds us that we don’t all fit into the same mold, we all have different needs at different times and Mother Nature is constantly poking at us to remind us to connect to ourselves so that we can identify and align with those needs.

What’s awakening in you? 

Are you feeling the stirrings of spring — perhaps to try something new, to shift to a new path, to end something, begin another? 

Pay attention to your body too. It will ask for different foods and even movement. As it tentatively reemerges be kind to it. What is your spirit whispering to you? No, it may not be my favorite season, but I have great reverence for the gifts she comes bearing.

*And a special word of thanks to local beauty maker and photographer Juliet Lofaro who graciously allowed us to use her image for this newsletter. It captures both the fragility and fierceness of nature that resides within each of us.


—Lea Haas, Owner, The Garden Cafe Woodstock


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