Four days ago, it was 50 degrees. People were walking around campus in shorts and T-shirts (a bit of an exaggeration, perhaps), studying outside on the just-thawed (and quite muddy) quad, and just in general spending more time outdoors. Though none of us were deceived by this weather to think that spring was coming, it was still a nice reprieve from winter. Yesterday, we got 10 inches of snow here in Boston and the university was closed for the first time in years. People are depressed, cold, wet, and certainly not spending more time outside than they have to. Tufts’ spring break is a mere two weeks away, and it seems that the break won’t be quite as spring-y as we might have hoped.
However, despite this winter-y setback, it is indeed true that spring is just around the corner. As we enter March, daylight savings time approaches (March 8th) and, as the days get longer (more sunlight!), so too will the weather become more spring-y (we can only hope). For those of us dreading the continuation of winter, let’s hope that March follows that old saying–it certainly did come in like a lion, so hopefully it will exit like a lamb. So, I shall be optimistic and begin to prepare for spring. It is not healthy to dwell in the darkness and coldness of winter. Instead, look forward to warmth, sunlight and spring!
When I want to make a real change in my life or in my mindset, I often turn to feng shui. In winter, there is often a sense of having a lack of things–a lack of warmth, a lack of sunlight, a lack of being outside, a lack of happiness, even, as the cold, short days drone on in a seemingly ceaseless manner. Earlier this winter, I went to a workshop with Betsy Stang on the feng shui of abundance, and when I find myself falling into these wintertime setbacks, I make use of what I learned. First, you cannot have abundance without making room for it–in other words, you cannot gain without giving first. As spring approaches, do a dual feng shui: Clear out your closet for the freshness of spring, and give what you haven’t used or worn much in the past year to charity. By giving, you will find that more will come to you.
Make an effort to feed the birds–they have a scarcity of food at this time of year, and it is easy for you to buy bird seed and fill a few feeders. I will never forget the call I got from my mother earlier this year after an ice storm that left her powerless for five days. She said, quite worriedly, “And these poor birds! I’m almost out of bird food and I can’t get into town! How am I supposed to feed them?” Feeding the birds feeds the Earth, and, as Betsy says, “We are part of the cycle of life, and if we want our prosperity nurtured, we must feed and honor what sustains us.”
To bring spring closer to you, practice abundance, get rid of clutter, and, as winter begins to turn to spring, go outside and experience the changing Earth. There is a reciprocal nature to caring for the Earth: Your generosity towards the Earth will lead to abundance in your own life.
This is my last blog for Care2, and I chose to leave you with this as my final blog because I feel that it is the most all-encompassing lesson to be learned: Treat the Earth well, give to it, be green in your dealings with it. You must give to get, and giving green is perhaps the best gift you can give the Earth.
Note to self: Be green, give green, get green.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.