Waiting for Spring

bare trees growing in a pot with snow on the bottom

By: Courtney Edge-Mattos

My hands hurt from wielding the shovel, yet again.  My shoulders ache.  I gaze down my driveway, a driveway that feels like it magically added a hundred feet to its dimensions, and sigh.  I can’t do this, I can’t make it.

This is the mountain our kiddos climb, day after day.  The road ahead too long, their souls too weary to travel it.

The snow is still falling, coating the path I’ve cleared, icing over the asphalt to make the hilly slope even more slippery.  I wipe my sweating brow and dig back in, one scoop at a time.

The trauma gets covered, coated in a protective layer that lies smooth and clean, allowing healing and forward momentum.

According to the furriest weatherman (that famous groundhog), spring is coming.  Not terribly soon, but it will be here.  That’s what he says, but what does he know?  He’s a rodent that is essentially a paid performer, a tourist-trap on four legs.  This winter will never end, the snow will never stop falling, the driveway will constantly be icing over and trying to send me sprawling.  And yet, I continue to dig, one scoop at a time.

Experts, professionals with clean fingernails and ironed shirts, tell them it will be fine, they will feel whole, the cracks in their hearts will fill in.  But how could those people know?  How could they predict how a child will heal?

Beneath the blindingly white landscape is a whole hidden world, unseen but still there.  The heather plants are just under the fluffy crust, waiting to bud and bloom in a few months.  The holly bush has shiny green leaves and bright red berries, just waiting for a warm up with will again reveal their beauty.  The snow will crush some things.  They will have to dry out, warm up, and heal to grow again.  They are hidden for now, dormant under the blizzardy blanket, but waiting.

Growth is there, life is there, hidden beneath the surface.  Some prickly, some hardened and dried, but it is still there. 

Beneath the frozen surface, a warm, buzzing, flowering world is just waiting to be burst forth.  We just have to outlast this freeze.

We just have to provide the warmth, the nurturance, coax the first green shoots to shake free from the frozen earth. 


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Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.