Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spring wisdom

The next week or so is a magical time in New York. Why? Because nature renews herself.

It may come as a surprise to certain people (such as my father) that I, Michael Melcher, consummate urbanite, often turn my thoughts to nature. That I find inspiration, joy and peace from flowers and birds and trees and butterflies and squirrels. But I do!

The other day I was in the park (and when I say "park" I mean ultra-glamorous Central Park), observing the birds a-twittering, and I shouted out (inwardly), "You made it! You all made it through! You're all alive!" 'Cause I become concerned what happens to nature's creatures when it's, like 70 degrees in January and then 5 degrees in March.

(I also get excited when sparrows make lots of racket when the evil red-tail hawk comes snooping around for food. "Hide, you guys!" I scream (inwardly) to the birds and squirrels and even rats, which they all seem to do very effectively.)

Here's why New York is even more special than normal this week. Because for the next few days, all the trees look wintery. Their branches are bare. Not a lot is going on. Even though you know that spring is here, if you look at any particular tree you can't quite picture how it's all going to transform into lushness and vitality.

But within a week that's exactly what's going to happen. Spring will be everywhere! Just like that. Growth and renewal coming out of nowhere, really.

All this happens to us, too. But since we're not trees or daffodils, it takes different forms. With my clients (all of whom are extremely attractive, by the way), I talk a lot about "cocooning," a phrase coined by Fredric Hudson.

Cocooning is kind of like winter. It's a period of internal growth. You can't see it. It might not feel like growth at all. Cocooning happens when something else has ended. A job. A relationship. A sense of who you are. A whatever. You know how it feels. You wake up and think, "Geez, I'm 35, what the hell happened?" In our superglamorous, high-octane, Sex and the City city, cocooning can be hard, because everyone is out there seems to be makin' it.

But cocooning is leading to something. It doesn't look like growth, but it is growth. And one day, spring emerges. The bare branches fill up with green, and you wake up and feel alive, hopeful, excited and lush again. And maybe luscious. That too.

Check out this week's natural transfiguration. And get excited about the one that will assuredly happen to you.