The In-Between Time: Moving Towards Spring

March 28, 2023

Just because it is officially spring doesn’t mean it is actually spring. Not with snow still much in evidence, but still the air feels different, lighter, fresher, brighter. There is no sign of green yet, but I bought the first bunches of daffodils. And I rearranged furniture.

This is transition time, and I often feel a bit itchy, restless in the in-between times. Often I channel that need for some kind of change by changing what I see, by doing more than the usual weekly hometending.

The snug transformed from this arrangement. (The pictures were taken in the fall — the pumpkins have long been packed away!)

To this:

One thing leads to another. Because I moved the desk into the snug from where it had been located next to the front door since we moved into this house, that meant changing the entry area, too. I moved the center table (top picture) to the desk wall and that left all sorts of space for this:

Voila! Another reading area and a place for one of the tables from the snug! The chair had been in the bedroom, by the way, which was changed from a heavier to a lighter look, too.

Of course, along the way, I washed floors and rearranged tabletops, shopping the house. Now instead of feeling winter cozy, the house has more breathing space and seems fresher, lighter, brighter, just like these days.

Winter Reflections

As I’ve written before in this blog, hometending is one of my spiritual practices and is a form of creativity for me. Doing this kind of re-envisoning space and our surroundings, however, is not just about changing what is visible, but for me it is also a bridge, a way to transition. As I shuffled piles of books and tweaked pillows and pictures, I thought about what changes I have noticed or deliberately made in the previous season. And what that might mean for the season just ahead. These domestic surges give me a chance to evaluate, to consider directions in my own life.

This particular winter season has been a challenging one, weather-wise, but I have noticed in myself more ability and willingness to adjust, to let go and to be with whatever is happening outside. How grateful I have been for our cozy, pleasant home, for the safety and comfort, which I realize my privilege allows me. At the same time I feel more ready for spring than I do most years. I am eager to walk without fear of slipping on the ice.

This winter has been a time to adjust to the death of a dear friend. More and more I am aware of how this time of my life, as I approach my 75th birthday, includes losses. An ongoing challenge is to accept the loss and at the same time open to the gifts of each day.

This winter has been a time when I have been more aware of how I choose to use my time. I cleared space in my week to create Writing Wednesdays, and that has become precious to me. I am working on an essay about walking the labyrinth and have submitted a couple shorter essays to online publications. In the coming months I hope at least part of Writing Wednesdays will be spent writing in our “Paris” garden.

This winter has been blessed with activities I love; for example, facilitating the church writing group as well as monthly Third Chapter Conversations, meeting with my spiritual directees, and writing my twice a week posts on this blog. As I move into spring, I know I want to continue in these endeavors, but I pray I will know when it is time to let go of any of them and that I do that with grace.

This winter has included some strife in our congregation, but what I see is that the community is stronger than one person and that we will continue to grow in ways we can’t even imagine yet.

This winter has included good health for Bruce and myself. A couple colds, true, but no trips to the doctor. No broken bones or concerns about mental or physical well-being. How grateful I am.

This winter has included my usual morning meditation routine, beginning with a short devotion in Henri Nourwen’s You Are the Beloved. My word of the year “beloved” resonates throughout the day.


Sunday my husband and I drove along the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River, one of our favorite routes. How good to see so much open water and bare ground. Along with seeing eight eagles and two hawks, we think we saw a flock of tundra swans. Although there was not yet any sign of greening, the earth seemed ready for change, for movement. Should we call these days “Sprinter” or perhaps “Wing”? These are the in-between days when we can begin to envision what is to come, but at the same time recognize what we bring with us into the new season.

An Invitation

How are you living these in-between days? I would love to know.

10 thoughts on “The In-Between Time: Moving Towards Spring

  1. These in between days are cleansing for me. Going thru closets, and rearranging furniture. Trying to organize inside to clear time ahead for outside.
    Listening. To others and to my inner voice, to the voice of God in my life. Learning to always look ahead and be the best I can be.


  2. This is indeed frustrating. I’m doing something wrong. I’ve sent 2 and have read them but they have disappeared,
    Anyway! I love the word hometending and also calling it a spiritual exercise. I will now refer to my projects as that.
    I live at Doire Cnoc and it is a “thin place”. The name and description are Irish. The first is oak grove hill and the second is a place that is close to heaven.
    I think of a house and environs as tools for living. The transitions are just modifications in those tools. the whole process from conception to outcome is, indeed, spiritual.
    This is my second attempt at blogging. I’ll work on participating more..
    Love your work, Nan!


    • So glad you were persistent. How wonderful to live at a “thin place,” to always be aware of the role of transitions in the wholeness of our lives. Thanks for sharing yourself here.


  3. Sprinter…that is good! Very much what our weather is like here (northeast IL), too. I love to rearrange and putz and clean just like you…it’s one thing that makes my creative spirit sing. Seems especially appropriate for spring.

    I’ve been putting myself out there a bit more, trying some new things – getting back into regular yoga classes, going to meditation classes, looking to take a Reiki 2 class, going to a women’s circle. Also, finally got a much needed massage and body work and I feel sooo much better!

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. Even at my age (60), I’ve noticed I hear a lot more about serious illnesses and death of people around my age.


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