The Long-Lost Return of Spring
Finally, FINALLY, finally, spring is officially here. Is it just me, or has this been the longest, darkest, and most depressing winter ever? Well, good riddance to winter, if you ask me. The snowdrops are up, the little green buds are popping out, the willow trees are yellow, and the little frogs that sound like ducks are quacking. Who cares if on the second day of spring we had a little snowstorm—we know it can’t last.
Spring is, as you all know, a time of rebirth, regeneration, and renewal. Of course, it is also a time for deep cleaning and cleaning out. I look at this process from a physical, material, and spiritual perspective.
Physically, spring renewal is, to me, about renewing my commitment to my own body and fitness. After all, the days are longer and there are fewer excuses to not exercise. Exercise is in fact a great way to get out and smell the earth returning to life and the plants unfolding from their long winter sleep. I know I’m never going to be 24 again (that was the year I weighed 115 and was totally tan and buff). But when I run, ride, and get into a handstand all by myself, I can feel that girl again and I am happy—even though 50 is less than a year away.
From a material perspective, to me spring is all about unloading all those things I don’t really need, want, or care about anymore. Anything connected with a bad memory goes out, as well as things that make me feel a burden when I look at them or think about them. This year is extra-unload-able since I am getting rid of quite a few “fat” outfits I don’t need since I’ve been exercising more. It’s really wonderful when the bags of stuff are donated, and I realize I don’t miss a single thing. I feel lighter and more alive.
But it’s the spiritual renewal that feels best (even though it’s the hardest). Each year is like the giant tolling of a bell—the clock of life—and I realize that time really does matter. And the choices I make now about how to spend it are the only choices I have left. Time isn’t infinite anymore—at least in this lifetime. But no matter how old I get, so many things still seem possible. Just last week, in fact, I met a woman who started songwriting when she turned 52. There is hope for me yet! Because it is the joy of creation, I think, that is the greatest joy of all. I see it in my little daughter’s face when she is painting (and breathing loudly through her mouth, just like her mum). And I feel it when I write, when I garden, or create something that didn’t exist before.
Spring is like the blank canvas in a painting studio with a new set of paints and brushes, and the windows are open and the sun is shining in, and the scent of hyacinths and viburnum fill the air, and there are days on end ahead just for creating. Soon it will be hot, which is how I like it best. Hot, languid, and filled with love. But first, spring, glorious spring.