A spring in your step. What exactly does it mean? You know when you don’t have it. It takes awhile to realize it, but you know. You find your footfalls heavier, you dread going up stairs. You don’t have any spring any more.
Where does it go? That lightness of being, that eager greeting of the next big thing. . . that moving forward. All too often it doesn’t start or end in your feet. Absent illness, you lose the spring first in your head. It starts with hesitation, and then fear. A tentative-ness enters your thoughts. What if? Why? What happens next? Your spring is gone. First to hesitation, and then pain. It actually hurts in your legs, in your knees and ankles. Even when it doesn’t hurt, you’re afraid it’s going to soon. So you slow down. Your feet fall harder on the earth. Your body becomes sluggish and you find reasons to stop moving forward.
In February, many of us lose the spring in our step as we tread carefully on icy sidewalks and slushy parking lots. We have forsaken the spring in our step for the long, cold winter. In our fifties, we children of the 1960s find excuses to stay inside. Because it hurts. Our hearts hurt for a thousand reasons we can’t brush away. Our heads hurt for breathing the heated indoor air. Our legs hurt because we long for spring when we can walk freely.
March. We long to march into the spring when the sunshine frees us from the indoors. March, when signs of nature’s spring bring back the spring in our step. We look up as we walk, we breathe more deeply. We greet the new day with an emotion other than pain.