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{Grandmother Wisdom} The Spring Within

by Nanci Shanderá, PhD

photo: deidre caswell

Plants and trees are celebrating spring by flowering and remind us of our own inner flowering as we emerge from the hibernation time of winter. For many, winter is a challenge, not only because of the stormy weather, but we are usually dealing with holiday plans, family gatherings (pleasant or otherwise!), shopping, and then taxes after the holidays are over.

So spring is a welcome relief. We gain more sunlight as our Earth moves its face closer to the sun. Our children and grandchildren can now play outside - another relief for us all! And we can enjoy the balmy weather before the intense heat of summer approaches.

A loving gift to our children is to teach them about how spring is within us since it is a time of remembering the light. We can share with them that the light is always within and spring reminds us of this so beautifully. We can sit quietly with our children and admire a daffodil in the yard, a practice very much like meditation. The Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hahn sees people as flowers, opening to the sun, and being beautiful for all to see and enjoy. Ask your children to consider what that could be like if they thought of everyone they came into contact with as a fresh flower, opening its beauty and fragrance to acknowledge each other's presence as a beautiful flower too. Now, of course, not everyone you meet will be in a flower mood, but that isn't really the point. When we see the beauty in the surliest curmudgeon, we are seeing past his pain and into his eternal goodness.

andrea smith of andrea renee photography












When the blossoms of spring drop off the fruit trees and become the juicy fruit we all love to eat, we are reminded that this is our own inner process too. Our children are like lovely pieces of fruit, just having emerged from a beautiful blossom. It reminds us that they are growing - they'll never be the baby blossoms again. Their bodies will continue to change, just as the flowers drop and the fruit grows to its ultimate juiciness. Then the pit or stone holds everything within it: the tree itself, its leaves, its blossoms, and its fruit. We can teach our children that this is the story of our lives, the continuum that is life itself, our experience as humans on Earth.

And most importantly, spring opens us to new, light-filled ideas and considerations of what reaches far deeper and further than our mere physical bodies. With our children and grandchildren, we are like these lovely trees and all they contain, and yet are so much more. We are the light of life itself, whether taking form of human bodies, flowers, or trees. We are eternal and all a part of the Great Mystery of Life.

Happy, happy spring! Delight in your children's growth and what they bring to all of life. 

photo: sabrina helas

Dr. Nanci Shanderá is a transformational psychologist-teacher in northern California and author of Bridge to the Soul: The Alchemical Path to Transforming Your Life and Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose to be released in 2013, and The Quilt: A Woman’s Journey to Power to be released in 2012. She studied with Brugh Joy, M.D. for over 30 years, trained seminary students for the United Church of Religious Science, and now facilitates a Mystery School at EarthSpirit Center. She can be contacted on




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