I write this as we’re experiencing our first rain of the season. It has an entirely different quality to snow, both beautiful. Rain refreshes, washes, and wets us. The birds sing louder, the air seems cleaner. Spring is near! Last month in Hawaii, I had an exceptional encounter with a mother humpback whale and her new calf. We were on a sea kayak and the baby played with us for thirty minutes. We can assume the mother was watching closely from down below, signaling her baby with tones and body language. Still, she allowed the calf to play. After birth, the mother and baby brave the open sea and migrate to Alaska, colder waters, and krill. They also encounter whaling ships and killer whales and sadly, some babies don’t return to the warm and protected waters of Hawaii.
Spring is the time of the innocent. Babies and buds are being born, emerging into this world for the first time in memory. A friend told me he was driving on the highway and saw a mother duck with her fuzzy yellow chicks crossing the road, all somewhat innocent to the imminent danger of cars. My friend stopped his car, got out, and prohibited the traffic from continuing, offering the duck family safe passage. This story reminds me that we are stewards of the innocent. We have been here, know the ropes, design the game, and when new life comes in, we have the ability to care for it and make the experience gentle and sweet. In this way, we reconnect with our own innocence. There’s a quality in innocence that immediately opens the heart and connects us. Look for the innocence in others, the quality that challenges the unknown and shines like new light from within, no matter how badly our behavior, or broken our heart. Watch new life this Spring. Stay still a moment and witness the birth of another being, whether plant or animal. Your heart will implode with joy, and tears may surface, like rain, washing away your perceived culpability. Innocence is full of faith. Start new and be gentle.