For me spring began last weekend when my neighbors led the way for the rest of the neighborhood by trimming back their grasses and bushes. Yes, we immediately followed suit and now our front garden is ready to do whatever it should or could do in the weeks to come. To further confirm spring is in the air, the weather was so fabulous that my husband and I bicycled around the reservoir at Cherry Creek State Reservoir two days in a row.
Spring is kind of like that, it creeps up on you and you just feel it. Officially it begins tomorrow afternoon, on the vernal equinox. (There’s even a website devoted to counting down the days and minutes.) But somehow, spring is more than a date to me. There’s a change I can’t completely explain, and it’s happening right now.
Living in Denver we haven’t experienced the harrowing winter my sister’s family is still enduring in the Boston area. Or just about anywhere on the East Coast. They will mostly likely kick off the official start to spring under snow, again – sorry. And I’m sure we’ll get hit by another snowstorm or several before launching into full scale spring ‘y’ days. But there’s something about turning the corner this year, leaving the season of winter behind, and moving forward that has me brimming with a great deal of anticipation.
You’ve probably heard of seasonal affective disorder, defined by the Mayo Clinic as:
a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.
As we get more sunlight, thank you Daylight Saving Time, and enter spring, anyone suffering from SAD actually will notice these symptoms fade dramatically and then disappear during late spring and summer. Not that we all have SAD because of winter. It’s been fun skiing, sledding with the kids, bundling up, sitting by the fire, and shoveling the sidewalks. And I am so glad this season might finally be melting away.
For those of you fortunate enough to live in warmer weather climates, the spring shift isn’t so marked. But for those of us who live through the changes winter brings to our surroundings, we welcome the new life.
Spring is my wake up call. When the birds return en masse to our backyard and nearby parks, I realize how much I missed their chirps and squawks. The bulbs so many have planted in the fall are forcing their way through the ground, my crocuses are just now blooming, yet another sign that life is coming back to our gardens. Every tree I see is bursting with buds. I couldn’t agree more with Anne Lammott when she says,
I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.
When my sons were younger, spring break was a huge pivot for us. Not only did they get a much needed one week break from school, it was our first big vacation of the year. Several times we headed to Florida where spring training would occupy much of our time. There’s something about the sunshine and baseball and hope for a great season that signals renewal. Roger Hornsby writes,
People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.
Spring fever is everywhere. I know there are some of you diehards who wear shorts all the time and are out in every kind of weather no matter what. For the rest of us this warm-up, however long it lasts, reminds of us of what we love about the Colorado outdoors: Platte River. The State Capitol. City Park. The Flatirons. Roxborough State Park.
This is the time of year where I can open the doors and windows and not worry about the screens. Too early for flies and mosquitos and bees. My living space just smells fresher. And if it doesn’t, the Febreze Air Effects product even has a scent for this season: Spring and Renewal.
While I’m not sure what spring smells like, I do agree with Robin Williams who once said, “spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'”
That about covers it for me.
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