Springing Into Spring
A time for change and development
by Helen Levesley (revised, originally published in 2009)
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To consider the spring of our lives.
Preparation and materials
- You may wish to have available the music ‘Spring’ from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and the means to play it at the beginning of the assembly. A version is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRxofEmo3HA (41.59 minutes long in total)
- You may wish to play ‘Spring’ from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as the students enter.
- According to astronomy, spring begins when we reach something called the vernal equinox, which happens on 21 March. However, for most of us, it has more to do with what we can see.
- Just think for a second: how do you know that spring is on its way? Is it lambs in the fields, the appearance of ducklings or other baby animals, daffodils and other flowers poking their heads out of the cold earth or white and pink blossom on the trees?
However you notice it, spring is about new beginnings and fresh starts. Spring is the season when it all starts again, the first season in another cycle of the year.
- I would like you to imagine for a moment that you are a bulb in the ground. It is completely dark – there is no light at all. All you know is that you are growing and stretching outwards and upwards. After what seems like an age, the earth that you are pressing against suddenly gives way. Although it is small, a shoot bursts up from the ground that has been hard and impenetrable for so long. You see the sunlight and feel the warmth.
- That must be quite a feeling, going from being caged and trapped to being free to move in the open air. This idea can be used for many things, including the way in which we all came into the world. The birth of a human is very similar: growing and developing in a confined space, and then entering the world.
- As I said, spring is about a time of new beginnings. After the darkness and coldness of winter, we enter a season that brings warmer, longer days, with lighter mornings and evenings. Things don’t seem so bad. Maybe animals that hibernate, like bears, have the right idea: they go to sleep for those cold months and wake up again in time for warmer days.
- Some people are so affected by the short days and lack of light in winter that they suffer from something called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Hopefully, spring is a time when they begin to feel better. Even if that isn’t you, you’ll know the feelings that come with a warm breeze or the sight of bright yellow or purple crocuses, when everywhere seems to have been grey for so long.
- Spring is also a time of growth and change. Winter can be a time for reflecting and thinking about yourself and your life, perhaps about change. How have things changed for you? Can you act on those things? What will your spring be like? Will you continue to trudge along in the same way, or will you be like the flowers and the daffodils, embracing the changes to come and waving around in the spring breeze?
- Spring is something to be excited about. We can also start to look forward to the next season of summer. Let’s look at nature and appreciate how it comes to life and how that buzz of activity can be the same for us, too.
Time for reflection
Let’s think about signs of new life.
Let’s reach for new beginnings.
Let’s consider both external and internal change.
Let’s move into a new and exciting world.
Let’s hope and pray for good times ahead for everyone.
‘Spring’ from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons