I am UIC: Spring is here

Photo of me taken by my lovely friend Eleora Lebre

Yesterday the sun was shining so bright that I started to get hot and uncomfortable in my heavy jacket.  

Walking past the park each day, more coats are strewn in the grass, draped across shoulders, and hanging from low branches. After months of wearing layers, we, like snakes, have started to shed the extra weight. Everything feels different, but is it too soon to let down our guard down? The season has betrayed us already. Mistrusting the sunshine, we are slow to emerge from our caves, fearful of a sudden overcast and icy wind. But so far, so good.

Everything feels different when true spring comes around. The sidewalks are no longer desolate. Unaccustomed to seeing others as I walk to school, I am startled by the eyes that connect with mine as I cross the street. With my head ducked into my hat and scarf for so long, I feel uncomfortably exposed to the scrutiny of my neighbor. They feel it, too. Eyes dart back and forth with every awkward connection made.

While rebirth is a time of fumbling and confusion, there is a magnificence to it. With every awkward wave, the arm extends further and the wave gains a greater arc. As the tree buds give way to flowers, the small nod gives way to a gentle smile, and maybe by May, there will be a “Hi, there!” exchanged among the passerby. Soon my quiet humming as I walk will be replaced with song, and the neighbors will remember the girl who constantly sings to herself once more.

The people in my neighborhood undergo as much transformation each season as the environment does. We have winter blues to replace with eloquent rhythms of spring, but this is a process that takes time. We, much like tree buds, are coming to life, but this requires a process and much patience. We come into a world much different than the one we lived in when winter began, so now is our time to be the new, refreshed, and beautiful things we have been so eagerly waiting for.

Happy *real* beginning of spring! Hope is near. Fulfilling endings and new beginnings are near.

Abigail Floresca is a junior majoring in criminology, law and justice with a minor in professional writing. Writing is how she connects, processes, expresses and relates to the rest of the world. Increasingly aware of the power of storytelling in bringing about change and reform, Abigail earnestly seeks to find a way to incorporate a perfect blend of writing and social work within the criminal justice system — she dreams of bringing about a positive change, one story at a time. At UIC, she is involved in campus ministry; conducts research with the criminology, law and justice department; interns with the Chicago Justice Project, and loves exploring new places downtown. 

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