Spring Cleaning: Our Need for Interior Freedom

I do believe that the urge to spring clean or fall clean is a necessary function for us. The reality is, we live in space and are surrounded by stuff. And our surroundings influence how we feel and go about the day. The space we dwell in gives us energy or sucks energy out of us. Have you ever stayed overnight at a retreat center? If so, you have noticed how spare the rooms are: […]

Prayers and Practices for Spring: Darkness Lifting

I do believe that spiritual practices inspired by our physical environment can be quite effective. So let’s think a bit about winter’s transition to spring.* Winter has always represented a certain level of darkness. The daylight is shorter; many of us retire into our homes earlier than we do in the spring and summer months. Partly this is due to the cold—we’re eager to go home and get warm. But I think the general lessening […]

Spring Cleaning Concerns

Not once in my life have I completed spring cleaning. I usually begin well, but I have a rather large house and lots of stuff. And my husband is not so concerned about spring cleaning—he will help if asked but otherwise remains blissfully unaware that anything needs extra cleaning or sorting or consideration of any kind. And yet, every spring I feel the urge to do spring cleaning. Do I enjoy setting myself up for […]

Springtime Scents

We’re somewhere in the middle of spring, which here in Chicago means temperatures jumping from winter-like lows to summer-like highs. The changing of seasons (even all within the same calendar season of spring) makes me more aware of my senses, particularly the sense of smell. Freshly mown grass and flowering plants are just two of the more obvious scents spring brings to my nose. Some people love these smells. I’m a little less enthused about […]

Lenten Spring Cleaning

Most years, as I make my way to the Ash Wednesday service, it’s bitterly cold outside, and the hope of spring seems distant. With Easter a bit later this year, I was surprised to look out my window on Ash Wednesday to see the signs of spring quietly beginning its slow advance on winter. This little change shifts my perspective, and I begin to think about Lent in the context of spring rather than winter. […]

Discover Unwanted Sprouts through the Examen

In the spring, we plant seeds, but we also notice all kinds of plants sprouting without any help from us. Right now, we have lettuce coming up in a patch of the backyard close to where the lettuce container plant sat last year. Some of the lettuce went to seed and fell into the ground, and we have small bright green leaves now, popping up with the regular grass. I don’t mind lettuce on the […]

The Tasks of Spring

After a harsh winter for many of us, we’re starting to see signs of spring—at least the calendar indicates it’s now officially spring. But there’s work to be done this season, as Vinita Wright outlines in this video reflection. If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video The Tasks of Spring.