Just wait. Get used to ugly for awhile and let nature do its thing.
Because nature is so good at "doing it's thing." I know I should have more faith, and deep down I knew that the landscape would adapt somehow. But after a year full of disappointments, I wasn't hopeful. That's what spring is supposed to remind us of, hope, but I wasn't there yet.
Watching the landscape slowly emerge over the next few weeks, I was constantly reminded of the importance of patience. Nature works on a timeline, but it's a very LONG timeline that has spanned billions of years on this planet. As I see more and more green around me now, and more green than brown, my hope is returning.
Nature's timeline makes me realize that one year of life as a brown, ugly landscape is not that long.
My son's spirit animal is a cicada. He was at nature camp with me five summers ago, my first summer camp actually, and he had a moment with a cicada that stopped him in his tracks. Me and 10 other children all stopped and silently watched him pick up the cicada and put it on a tree. It was a short interaction, but it was magical. When we got home, I looked up the meaning of the cicada spirit animal. It was perfect for him. If you ever have an interaction like this, I highly recommend doing a quick search to find the organism's meaning.
We went on to learn about periodic cicadas, like the 17 year Brood X that is emerging this year. They lay their eggs on a plant, and the larvae emerge and crawl down into the soil, where they stay for 17 years until they emerge. They then crawl up the tree, molt out of their exoskeleton, spread their beautiful wings, and enjoy a few weeks of life above ground. It's truly amazing when you think about it. How do they know when to emerge? Why do they spend almost their entire life underground?
To me, cicadas embody patience. They guide us to dig through the layers and layers of gunk that life has piled on us, to help us uncover what is true. The pandemic has had us all cooped up, like these cicadas, just waiting to live life again. And just like these cicadas, our time "underground" has uncovered some truths that I hope we can appreciate and carry into this new kind of spring and summer season. There is hope, but there is still a lot of ugly in the world to put up with, so be patient, and stay open and curious.