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Transition from Winter to Spring: 30 Photo & Written Prompts to Celebrate Early Spring

03/06/2024 00:42:52 +0000
A few months ago, I was talking to a stranger in a coffee shop. I don't know about other places, but in NYC you can always find someone to talk to. Maybe because there are so many tourists or maybe because it seems natural to talk to strangers in NYC. I'm still figuring that out. (I'm still figuring out a lot of things about the city!)

We were talking about the weather and when the stranger learned this was my first winter in NYC, they gave me some unsolicited, but much appreciated, advice.

"Winter comes and stays a bit longer here. You notice how it didn't get too cold until about December?"

I nodded. Autumn had been gorgeous and long here in the city, lingering long past Thanksgiving with cool temperatures, easy going evenings, and trees shedding burnt orange leaves endlessly.

"So, spring comes a bit later here. You'll be eager for it to come as February comes, but don't be surprised if March is pretty much a winter month with snow and dreary days."

"Noted," I replied, adding a comment about my heart yearning for spring towards the end of February.

"It comes," he replied, nodding as he picked up his Starbucks coffee and headed out. "You just have to wait a little longer."
The Promise of the Spring Season
Winter ends. Every year.

And spring comes.

As in the seasons of the natural world, so go the seasons of our hearts and lives. The seasons of our hearts don't always align with the calendar, but sometimes they do.

And sometimes what is happening in nature around us can be a launch pad for our own hearts.

How is your heart doing these days?

I'm completing the final work of Lead Me On: Painting through the Prayers and Promises of Psalm 143. The project birthed out of a personal desert season in my own life, one I thought would stay hidden in my own heart. But as I came out of it, still in winter, but no longer in a desert (so grateful), I shared the course with others.

Last night I finished the final "live" session where I shared ideas for how to put a proverbial bow on the project with a few ideas for finishing projects.
It was the end of a long season and I realized my heart, formerly in winter mode, had defrosted.

Spring is coming. To the world. To my heart.
Getting the Last Bit of Winter Work Done
How do you know spring is coming to your heart?
Signs of life began to appear just like the stalks start to burst through the dirt and reach for the sun.

I saw these stalks sneaking up this week on a crisp morning walk. It's in the thirties, still cold and winter, but they know spring is coming and are starting to wake up, ascend, to believe and act as though spring is coming...because it is.

Did you know that some bulb flowers have to have a certain amount of time underground with a specific amount of days of very cold weather in order to grow and flourish and bloom to their optimal bloominess? (Yes, I made that word up). Isn't' that fascinating?

I've been mulling that over in my mind. It's given me so much perspective, especially coming out of the previous "dark night of the soul" that had seemed like such a burden for the past two years.
So much wrestling, tears, prayers, and struggling in the darkness. Could that winter season be a way of strengthening, preparation?
I don't believe God intentionally designs difficult and dark times and yet...there is nothing wasted in His economy.

As I shelve those thoughts about the struggle, I'm captivated by all the changes going on around me in this very in-between season.

I'm not sure if there is another time of year where the transition between seasons is so terribly pronounced.
The earth seems to groan trying to move from the extremes of winter: the cold, the slush, the darkness, the dampness to the spring with all of its exuberance eager to pour forth on everyone and everything.
What Would Help You Bloom Well Later?
But we are not to spring yet.

Depending on where you live, it may be a month or six weeks before spring fully comes alive and awke.

What final hibernation / preparation projects and activities would be beneficial to you, and by extension, your loved ones you share your life with?

Do you need / desire:

• a day of quiet and rest, a "snuggle" day before the frenetic and wonderful activities of spring comes
• time to finish a book
• purchase and start a journal to capture the thoughts and pictures of the coming months
• phone calls or lingering coffee date with a friend, a spouse, a family member
• taking a few hours to plan the coming months – create a poster board or calendar with the essential things to keep you (and your family's) hearts and lives healthy
• finishing the creative project, workshop, class, or course and letting your heart and mind receive the time "underground" resting and strengthening in preparation for the year ahead
• long, quiet walks in the last days of winter
Take Advantage of a Few More Weeks of Winter
It's so easy for me to get stuck in the future. I'm a dreamer by nature and for most of my life, it hasn't been hard to create visions and plans.

But staying present to what is going on right now, right here? That's been a little more of a challenge for me.

To help me stay focused on the beautiful present of this transition season, I'm working on a new exercise, "The 3-ish Weeks of Last Days of Winter." It is a collection of prompts for both photo and written journaling during this in-between winter and spring season.
You can pick and choose what prompts to use, it is flexible (like we all have to be with all the weathering going on right now!).

The plan is to stay to engaged and focused on what is here and now, to be attentive to the gifts of these last days of wintering and to make the most of this soggy and wet transition season!

Would you like to join me? Download the guide here.
By Melissa AuClair

I love teaching others easy techniques for creating gorgeous floral and seasonal art. Flowers, seasons, and holidays are some of my favorite themes to paint and play with.

Paint with me on YouTube, find more in-depth courses on the website, and shop all the art, stationery & stickers in the online store.

California, United States
The Creative Season © 2021

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