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Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring on the outside, and the inside


Spring takes its sweet time here in Stockholm. We wait in anticipation for the trees to bloom, the daffodils to open their jaws and finally scream, it's spring, it's spring! Downtown Stockholm is framed by cherry trees and once those bloom, then we know that perhaps we can truly trust that the dark, barren days of winter really are behind us and soon, we will be surrounded by the fullness of nature that the spring bloom brings.
I am not a cold weather person. I love warmth. I secretly wanted Doug to put in his wedding vows that he would not move me further north, ever. I was thinking Duluth. Stockholm wasn't on the radar at that point, but here I am, loving the arrival of my 9th spring in this far north city.
The paradoxical reality of spring in Stockholm however is the sad fact that suicides often rise. The theory behind this is that when people feel blue all winter, it isn't so unexpected so they tolerate it a bit more. But when spring hits, they expect to feel better, but of course, don't. That's when they feel really hopeless and thus lose the will to move forward.
Spring is a wonderful time of year full of signs that indicate new life and rebirth. Unfortunately, if our insides don't mirror the seasons and do not feel the fullness of life, we aren't able to embrace the bloom of color that splashes out around us. That's why it's important to understand the difference between feeling a little blue due to unpleasant circumstances that we know will change and feeling really blue no matter what the external circumstances are, perhaps indicating that it's something on the inside that needs changing.
If it's January in your soul but April on the calendar, find someone to help you bloom instead of suffering through your winter of pain alone.