This is not normal. The plants are budding, the grass is greening and birds are singing – all ushering in a new season with pomp and circumstance. And it feels so…weird.

I’ve lived in Minnesota nearly my whole life; I know the seasons like the back of my hand. Winter is long and hard, but when spring finally arrives in April or May, it feels like the sweetest reward for surviving brutally bitter temperatures and mountains of snow. But this past winter was neither long nor hard – and there’s no sign of it returning for one last bitter blast {which it usually does}.

So, we’re all tiptoeing around – as if we might stir winter awake or curse our good fortune – as the earth springs to life around us. Yesterday, my cousin Nate said it’s like finding $40 at the ATM, unsuccessfully looking for its rightful owner, and then feeling too guilty to spend it.  So true; we feel undeserving of this gift, unsure of how to bloom without suffering through a dark winter first, worried that it’s too good to be true.

This is how most of us approach unexpected blessings; we let guilt overshadow gratitude and let our past dictate the present and future. We spend countless frigid winters begging for mercy – and then feel bad when spring arrives early. We spend years hoping for change in our work, our relationships, our finances – and then question any change that comes too easy.

I know this may sound craaaaazy…but what if we just choose to receive it all with grace and glee, like the trees and flowers that are rising up to meet spring’s early arrival? The buds are popping here, joyfully embracing the chance to be in the world earlier than ever before. Wiser than most us, happier than most of us, fulfilling their mission to bloom and grow. I vote for following their lead.