Some days ago I walked out to enjoy the change in weather and the warmth of the sun. I noticed the dry hydrangea plant in front of our house and how so much life was evident as the plant displayed a variety of new foliage. I looked at the other hydrangea plant and to my dismay I observed that for some reason that plant was never trimmed last summer. Old dry flowers were still hanging on top of the dried branches and very few new leaves were budding. That made me think of life and relationships. Many times it is so easy to hold on to the old; old patterns of relating, old grudges, old sad histories, old wrongs done against us, or old wounds. It makes sense to hold to them since they are part of who we are and because they affected us so deeply. However, as I think of my plants, I realize that holding on to the old no matter how dear it is to us does not allow for new life to spring forth. The new can only come to full blossom when the old is gone. As I write this blog I say little prayers that somehow in the magic of spring with new life growing everywhere we assemble courage and strength to let go of the familiar old and embrace the perhaps frightening but exuberant, full of possibilities new ways of living and relating to the ones we love.