We are welcoming spring here in northeastern Ohio. And springtime is muddy just like homeschooling is messy!

Just this week, I’ve seen so many signs of spring:

  • white snowdrops next to piles of unmelted icy snow
  • patches of crocuses in bloom
  • robins calling to each other from the bare branches
  • little green shoots poking up through the brown earth

Springtime is muddy just like homeschooling is messy.

Mrs. Thaw is here to sweep away the snow!

These signs of spring are so sweet and so welcome after many heavy snowfalls in January and February.

But springtime here in Ohio is best known as mud season. That’s right. We are welcoming mud season: messy, and sloppy, and just a bit warmer.

Oh, the newness of it all! Whenever we start something new, it’s often messy and sloppy! We can be tentative and awkward and unsure.

My son learning to read was very muddy and messy.

My now 16-year old starting to drive, muddy.

A two year old who’s potty training…

Starting form drawing…

Beginning to homeschool…

All learning can be muddy and messy and sloppy at the beginning of something new.

Last night, as I celebrated spring with my wonderful women’s circle, my springtime mantra emerged:

“Pay attention to the green stems of possibility.”

It comes from this passage written by Parker Palmer, author of The Courage to Teach.

In the muddy mess of spring, the conditions for rebirth are being created. The humus, the “mud on my face” humbling events of life create the fertile soil in which new life can grow.

Spring begins slowly and tentatively, growing with tenacity. The smallest and most tender shoots insist on having their way. The ephemeral crocuses and snowdrops are a harbinger of hope and, as the days grow longer, the winds get warmer and the world grows green again.

In my own life, I find it not only hard to cope with the mud but also hard to credit the small harbingers of larger life to come; to have hope until the outcome is secure.

Spring teaches us to look more carefully for the green stems of possibility: for the intuitive hunch that may turn into a larger insight, for the glance or touch that may thaw a frozen relationship, for the stranger’s act of kindness that makes the world seem hospitable again.

Late spring’s great giveaway of blooming beyond all necessity and reason – done, for no reason other than the sheer joy of it. We are meant to yield to its flamboyance. To live life unmeasured in spring’s riot of color and growth.
                                                                         -Parker Palmer

May we all embrace the newness of this season. Along with the mud and the mess. Springtime is muddy and homeschooling is messy. Let’s embrace that!

And here is my wish:

I hope we can pay attention to the green stems of possibility.


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  1. Yes. Yes. Yes.
    Thought of you so much this past weekend.
    With love, of course. Always with love.

    Here’s to the friends who get into the mud with us, and also hold the space as we get out of it.

    Looking forward to spring . . .

    1. We need friends who are willing to slog through the mud with us, for sure! Thanks for being one of those friends.

  2. What a lovely post. 🙂 I needed that reminder to see the green through the mud; the possibilities through the challenges. Happy spring!

    1. Today the sun is shining and things are looking bright from the inside but it’s oh so chilly here still. Looking around for those green shoots!

    1. Yes, Parker Palmer so often nails it for me. Working on clearing some clutter here so that fresh, new energy can emerge. I’m playing Mrs. Thaw today in my house!

  3. I have had this page bookmarked for weeks so that I could come back when I had time to really savor it. This is such a gem of a post! Thank you!

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