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A Spring in Your Step

When I was ten-ish, my best friend and I started celebrating spring.

Don’t get me wrong. We lived approximately 100 miles south of the Canada/Minnesota border. Spring didn’t exist until late April. But regularly on March 1st, in defiance of the calendar, we would pull out something light green to wear, go for walks in insulated, waterproof boots, and take deep gulps of fresh, springy air. (The air smells different in spring, in the country. It really does.)

Our tradition kept going for over a decade. In the midst of midterms, I’d take a break from college homework, take shivery steps out onto the front porch, and drink up the (cold) sunny air with a cup of homemade cocoa in my hands. My friend would snapchat me from her car on her lunch break, knitted hat on, car window rolled down, fingerless mittens collecting crumbs from her sandwich. March 1st was a celebratory day, and the rest of the spring season was a source of joy between us. Just the idea of spring would make us more eager to get outside, take walks, drink iced coffee instead of hot.

I like to think we were on to something; not only in celebrating spring, but in letting the newness and freshness infect us. I want to make that a habit again.

Truthfully, spring looks different for me now. I live in the southwest quadrant of the US - spring starts in January with 50, then 60 and 70 degree days. I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt today, and I left the window open and the fan on last night. (Perhaps that also has something to do with being pregnant and carrying my own personal space heater under my skin.) I also live roughly a thousand miles away from my bestie. We can’t throw our magnificent, brightly color-themed spring parties anymore, or walk down to the river to watch the ice break up into “shatter-glass” as we liked to call it.

So I’m taking a new approach. Spring still seems like a time for change. A time for newness. New clothes, maybe, or new shoes. Or perhaps a time for giving something up. Cleaning out an old bookshelf, donating a box of clothes you don’t wear anymore to a Goodwill store. I want to recommend doing something different in celebration of this season. I think it’ll refresh us, help us see the season and sunshine and hope of summer coming a bit more clearly.

Personally, I’m sorting and giving away. Like, everything. I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and I’ve already given away a box and a half of clothing (out of an already small wardrobe!) and a large box full of books - all that from a tiny home that I haven’t finished sorting through! I guess I honestly don’t need seven stacks of books sitting on the floor because I don’t have enough shelf space… *sheepish grin*

Maybe for you, something new means a new blouse or scarf or capris. Perhaps your bedroom needs new curtains to brighten it up a bit. Maybe for you, new means trying out Yoga for the first time, or committing to a month-long gratitude challenge, or taking a hike on your day off, instead of facing all the adult responsibilities that can probably, honestly, wait another day.

Regardless of how it looks for you, don’t forget to stop and celebrate spring. Let the new life of the season infuse some new life into your steps, your wardrobe, your habits. Take a moment out of the chaos to let life be exciting. Get some spring in your step, loves. And smile.

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