Haru. It’s a common name in Japanese anime. It can be either a boy or a girl, but it’s almost always used for a young character full turmoil that they overcome, gradually developing an inner confidence and a radiance of quiet strength. That’s because in Japanese “Haru” means “Spring”.
Today, on the first full day of Spring in Japan and across the northern hemisphere the tragedy and anxiety threatens to consume us through our diet of news. It may not seem particularly fitting for the season of life, but in many ways it is exactly what Spring is all about.
As our planet tumbles through space it wobbles back and forth, towards the sun and away from it. Like any oscillation, the moment when it reaches the midpoint is when it is changing the most. The day lengthens and the rising temperature melts the ice. Flowing water of life can become a flood, as it is expected to in a few weeks here on the Mississippi. There is never a quiet equilibrium.
That is being played out in Libya and the rest of the Arab world today. It’s been a part of our world in the USofA as people scramble to find new careers to replace ones that have passed quietly into history. Nowhere do we see this more strongly, however, than in Japan where millions of people are facing an anxious new beginning they never anticipated. Yet many of them have the quiet dignity of a culture that has the mark of adversity and triumph through cooperation etched deep into its memory.
As Pablo Picasso said, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”
Spring is supposed to be a happy time when we get our first chance to step outside without a coat and bask in the warmth of the new sun. If only it was that simple. The spin of our planet is always be turning us toward the morning in the darkest hours, but what we make of the new day is always up to us. Spring is a time to plant, to clean up, and to generally get busy once again. New life and new confidence sometimes require a little nudge, especially if we want them to go along in just a certain way.