The Promise of Spring


By: Jeff Mortimore, RSI Community Connector

A crocus flower blooming with snow on the ground

Lest we forget, this past Thursday was the first day of spring. And, as if on cue, the air was filled with birdsong and the sky a brilliant robin’s egg blue. On my walk, I noticed that Tundra swans had found an open patch of water to land and preen, and a pair of bald eagles joyously circling their nest on the St. Louis River.

As I paused to review the contrast of the moment, I saw the struggle. There, just below the surface of the snow, the flowers of a crocus were literally fighting their way through the crust of winters’ blanket. Always the first to arrive, the crocus is a hardy bulb and has a reputation as a symbol of cheerfulness and glee as it brings the landscape alive with color after a long winter. However, I also saw a different symbolism in the moment.

At a time where uncertainty is certain, where our lives are affected by the day, hour, or minute, it is also a time to reach out, to break through the crust. For the crocus to survive, it requires a careful mixture of fertile soil, water, and most importantly, sunlight. It is so also for us, with one exception. We need each other. Human connection is an essential ingredient in our survival, it always has been. Is it possible to stay healthy and connected while being encouraged to socially distance ourselves?

Indeed there is hope, and just like that crocus, it requires effort. Activities, events, visitations, and most community services have been cancelled but there are still many ways to reach out and connect.

Adopt technology to virtually visit with friends and family: This crisis has forced me to use some of the tools I have avoided such as Google Chat, Facetime, and Zoom. I could just kick myself! This is so cool, and now I can go on a video tour of my granddaughter’s playhouse. Recalibrate, retool, and reconnect!

Go online: Binging on Netflix is always tempting. But, once you are through the other side, what then? So many options await online. Many of our celebrities and artists have opened up free pages for their fans. Musicians are sharing their songs live on social media for people around the world to enjoy. The main theme here, taking action!

Communicate the old fashioned way: Yep, get out the pen and write a letter or thank you card. Think of it…when was the last time you received a handwritten note, and how did it make you feel? Not a post, not a text, but a real written message. It’s a simple way to connect with our loved ones, and I guarantee it will feel good. Finding ways to stay connected with others during this time can be challenging. Try using these strategies to feel less isolated and to stay connected with loved ones and others around the world.

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” — Elizabeth Edwards

Learn more about Jeff’s work at RSI on our Community Connections page.