Springtime

Yellow daffodils - floriade canberra

It’s mid-March, and with the time change, the light lingers into the evening. It’s 7:00 pm and I can still look out and see the Tongass Narrows outside my window. Nice to welcome the softer seasons back after a snowier-than-usual stretch.

And with the return of spring months and lengthening days come other signs of rebirth. There are daffodils pushing up through the soil in the flower bed outside my house. The spring clothing catalogs have made their appearance in my mailbox. I’m beginning to think about Easter presents to send my kids. I look at dates to fly down to Arizona to celebrate Riley’s first birthday in late April. And I begin to think of summer plans. All good, all reward for getting through the winter months once more.

I love seasons. I love the change of mood that each season brings. Spring is about awakening. Summer is inherently a more relaxed time. Is that programmed into the American psyche from all the years of the school/summer cycle? First by your own school schedule as a child, then for anyone who has children, by their years in that rhythm. But even beyond the calendar, there is something about the long days that demands a slower pace and a celebration of all things summer: beaches, picnics, road trips, ball games, fireworks, watermelon and burgers.

Fall is the first season of “new year” to me. I always think there should be two re-sets of the year. Also tied to the academic calendar, September (or now August, as classes begin earlier each year) is the beginning of another school year, for so long a way of defining and staging each person: “What grade are you in this year?” And the excitement of fall harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving…each event is a beloved marker of family and communal sharing that punctuates the months.

The peak of the year for many people, “the holidays,” is both the best and the worst of the annual cycle. I am better than I once was at enjoying the people and not stressing so much about the events. It is a magical time: for children waiting for gifts; for adults, touched by reminders of what is real and good in life. And when the real new year comes, we each have the chance, once more, to reset ourselves by the calendar. To resolve again to be “good,” however we define that for ourselves: diet, money, exercise, goals…it’s going to be different this year!

So, springtime, the second season, is upon us. I look at my spring decor, knicknacks that I am sorting through as I box things in my basement. I have a collection of blown Easter eggs that my kids and I made over the years. I have ceramic bunnies and an egg tree, an assortment of spring wreaths and linens that I’ll pull out for an Easter lunch. The brighter colors and lighter fabrics imitate the outdoors on sunny days, and remind me that many things in life are worth waiting for. Spring is one of them. Then summer. Then fall. Then winter. It’s all good, and fortunately, just as we’re weary of one, the next arrives, in perfect timing. Just as we need the next cycle to begin, it does.

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2 thoughts on “Springtime

  1. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful description of how the changing of the seasons correlates to the ever changing seasons of our lives!
    If I may, I would add on a personal note how that as the seasons of weather change, they are sometimes perceived differently by different indivduals – not right, not wrong – just different.
    Just as in our personal relationships (i.e. marriages), we sometimes see things differently – not right, not wrong – just different.
    I see the long Summer days as extremely busy hot days filled with constant activity and trying to cram one more thing into the daylight hours and summer months! I can’t wait for the first crisp Fall day as an indicator that the days will get shorter and life will begin to slow down.
    Then, finally the first snowfall – Ahhh!! Yes!! Those warm cozy evenings at home snuggled by the fireplace or playing family games together. Laughter fills the house along with the aroma of coffee, chili, cookies, popcorn, and hot cocoa!! These are the days when you can’t wait to get home! The sun goes down early, and the hustle and bustle of life takes a back seat to the warmth of home .
    I do love the rebirth of Spring – like coming out of hibernation; however, I must confess – my REAL hibernation begins in June, with Summer!! Give me air condition and Sweet Southern (Peach) Tea and don’t wake me til the Fall, Please! :o)

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    • Thanks, JL, for your great take on seasons. Yes, I know you love cold and snow! You should be the one in Alaska! Although I enjoy winter for the seasonal impact…just an inch or two of snow around Christmas adds a perfect touch…I wouldn’t mind if spring began on Jan 2!

      Thanks for reading!
      Sheila

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