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.

Frog and salamander eggs in my pond. A sure sign of spring!

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.


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9 Responses to The Long-Lost Return of Spring

  1. Amanda March 23, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only crazy adult with an inexplicable urge to do handstands (and cartwheels)! We’re blanketed in snow again today, but I know what is hiding underneath and it is decidedly spring.

  2. Jean Nick March 23, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    2 inches of white stuff outside my window this morning? Which looked a lot like the 2 inches of similar stuff Monday morning (the first full day of spring) . I thought for a minute the ducks were penguins and I had been spirited off to Antarctica…

  3. Donna in Delaware March 23, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    I’ve been cleaning out the house all winter long, donating to the different charities and getting tax credits. The house is almost totally cleaned out and it feels more spacious than ever. I am one for cleaning out, and never regretting it. I know that if I mistakingly throw out something, something better usually comes my way. I have gotten rid of all non essentials in the house. Now it’s time to freshen up the paint on the walls and trim indoors, clean off the deck, and start planting my cool weather veggies soon. That always make me feel as though life is starting anew.

    Speaking of exercise, I had better get a move on. I’m starting to show a little flab and that is a no-no. I took a long walk with a friend from Germany on Sunday and it felt wonderful to get out and smell the renewed earth. Speaking of time, nothing is forever, and we had better make the best of life in the present. I have been getting a bit nostalgic of late and a bit depressed thinking of the past. Those times were mostly joyous occasions and I was so carefree and full of life. I now feel my mortality, so-to-speak, so I have to rearrange my thinking of what life is really like, what I want from it and how to live the remainder of it without regrets and fulfillment. It is not easy, aging, but if you plan to make your old age better now, you’ll have some time to live it out accordingly and hopefully it will be happy. Happy spring one and all!

  4. maria (farm country kitchen) March 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    hello my favorite ladies! Yes, this blog was written before I woke up today with snow on the ground…but Donna, I’m home all week cleaning out and as usual, on the same wavelength with you…Ahh well, all we can do is enjoy each moment, right? Whether it’s messy or clean, happy or depressed all we can do is wallow in it.

    Enjoy your day and thanks for being my best commenters!

  5. sarah March 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I can relate on so many levels. I actually saw myself shaking my head in agreement as I read your post. Without a winter how would we ever fully appreciate spring:) I would have to say thank you winter for making me keenly aware of even the smallest spring indicators! Now be gone.

  6. Lisa S March 23, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    I donated my car! That definitely made me feel lighter

  7. Evelyn March 24, 2011 at 11:56 am #


  8. Evelyn March 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    I look forward to reading your blog and everyone’s comments. Life is too short and we need to make the best of every day. My good friend is on her deathbed as I write this with only a few days left. She just turned 40. She lived each and every day to its fullest knowing the end was near. But….is it really the end. I believe we are all here until we move onto another plane of existence. One that is filled with love, joy and happiness. We are here to strive to help each other, love each other and do whatever we can. Yes, spring is a rebirth just as fall and winter are temporary endings. Enjoy life and keep up the wonderful thought invoking ways that we can all contribute to and apply to our lives.

  9. Joline in Maine March 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    Hi, wow can I relate to all the above. I’m 54 this spring and I’m so excited about spring being in the air..we are having cold days but the sun is warm, and the snow is almost gone! i just returned from S.F.
    and it was wonderful (my 35 yr old son got married) the city was in bloom and the wedding perfect. life is so exciting and beautiful, when you grow older you begin to realize the magic of the seasons and how it effects your life.I’m a dedicated yogi and only eat fresh food and I believe that each day is another chance to be aware of all the wonderful things at our finger tips.

    I returned to college at 53 and what an experience, relating with all age groups and growing through learning, is a wonderful way to feel young and connected. I feel, I fit in, having an open style and positive outlook keeps me growing in a youthful way. So yes I am on spring break and I went to the west coast to see my wonderful son and his beloved new wife exchange vows of love and devotion..what a wonderful spring..welcome!

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