The daffodils are dying OR Perennial Love

the daffodils are dying and i don’t want them to go. i don’t want the newness of spring to be wearing off, and i don’t want to leave the infatuation i have with this time of year. it feels like ‘falling out of love,’ that fall from fantasy, back to reality after the high and buzz wear off.

for as long as i can remember, when spring came around i’d put my focus on the trees. i’d check them for buds and leaves, and when i didn’t see any it came with such a sense of relief, a reminder of how much spring there still was left to experience. now, there are fully grown leaves on the tress, and, as i said earlier, the daffodils are dying and spring is happening. it’s here, and that means it’s passing.

of course i made a metaphor out of it (what good is anything if it can’t be made a metaphor?). where i landed was on relationships, and how i feel when spring begins is so much like the infatuation in those early stages of a relationship (which isn’t a requirement for a healthy relationship) or even the calm waters settling in after a rough (sometimes very rough) patch. in the beginning, there’s so much hope. when the storm passes, there’s so much relief. “When spring comes I’ll feel so happy,” i’ll think. “I’m going to do so much and really get organized,” i’ll say to myself. there’s so much promise of something different. until i realize that time passes and i’m still the same, with the same habits, the same tendencies, the same stuck points. i do make progress, yes. but not the kind of whimsical, magical, frollicking kind of progress. not the “i’m a new person” kind of progress. in short, i’m not rescued by spring.

and that’s because spring doesn’t last. tiny buds turn into blooms. the daffodils die. spring loses its newness, it’s sense of promise to make everything right in the world. i fall back into despair at moments, beating my head against the wall as i try to figure out how the hell to be better at time management and organization. every year i think spring will make me feel whole again. and even more than that – i actually do feel whole again, but it’s fleeting, a mirage of permanence that still continues to feel like a hard fall from grace every time i learn this lesson of impermanence.

i want to make it so crystal clear that this is what we do with people, too. we think we’ll be saved by them. we think their budding love for us will take us from the winter freeze that hardened our hearts and melt the ice into a pool of easy, warm comfort. and for a time, it might actually be that way. just like with the budding daffodils, there’s so much to look forward to (unless there isn’t; relationships are deeply triggering and i don’t want to make this sound like the beginning should be all, well, rainbows and flowers). it’s easy to be blinded by the future growth we see emerging all around us. the fantasies seem as real as the scent of the flowers.

but, the point is to remember that the scent doesn’t last. flowers can actually turn quite ugly when they’re dying and recharging. the leaves turning yellow has to happen in order for the bulb to gain energy. isn’t that interesting – the plant gives itself the fuel it needs a year in advance to make it through the long, hard winter. this process is necessary if they’re to come back again next spring. we must go through the hard times in order to come alive again. death is necessary for rebirth.

this reality sometimes feels nothing short of impossible to take in and believe, let alone accept. we have years of stored pain around relationships, likely from our own families of origin as well as in the collective. we probably have more experiences of pain when things get hard than of repair, so our trust in it all is meek and tenuous. to do something new and different is an act of bravery, because it can feel as though we’re going to be annihilated if we step out of a familiar pattern. when we step into the unknown.

so, as i conclude this somewhat random, twisty post, i want to assure you that the rough patches in your relationship are going to settle back down into a place of more ease. it might not be quick or happen tomorrow, and things might have to turn ugly first before there can be beauty again. but if we allow ourselves to learn from these moments, we actually get something from them. there are deep lessons here: about ourselves, our partners, our relationships. we can take these times and use it for our advantage. our love can be like the perennial: blooming year after year no matter how long, cold, and dark the winter might have been.

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