Late tonight (about 1 AM CDT) the sun moves into the sign of Aries, which marks the Vernal Equinox – the start of spring. Here in Chicago, the weather has been more summer-like than spring, in these waning days of winter – setting new records almost every day this past week. The usual ‘signs of spring’ are weeks early (forsythia a-bloom, daffodils up and glowing, robins on the wing). It’s spring – for sure!
I wrote a post awhile back about ‘preparing for winter – what do you do?‘, so I thought I should give spring an equal opportunity.
Preparing for winter feels like “batten down the hatches” to me – steeling oneself for a time of hardship. Preparing for spring has a very different feel. While the winter preparation is ‘shutting down’, spring preparation is about opening up.
Here are some of the things I do:
- Clear the yard of any debris. I live next to a grade school – I routinely find school papers, Cheetos bags and all manner of stuff that’s blown over from the school. But there’s also the stuff that most people have – twigs from my tress, pine cones, etc.
- Rake up the dead grass – give the grass a chance to come back unencumbered by its deceased cousins
- Tidy up around the flower beds
- Put the patio furniture back
- Hang up my prayer flags, put out Matilda the wee stone bird and other small garden decorations
- Wash the windows
- Wash my one pair of curtains (the rest of the windows have shades)
- Put away the winter rugs and wash the floors they were sitting on
- Go through my stuff and find things to give away (my favorite part!!)
- Order Ravinia tickets for the summer (schedule comes out around now – and this feels like a ‘preparing for the new season’ task!)
- Make sure the dehumidifier for the basement works; turn off the humidifier on the furnace
- Get my carpets cleaned
I remember my grandmother and my mother doing an extensive spring cleaning that involved things like washing walls, polishing furniture and all sorts of stuff that probably still should be done, but usually is not in my house. But I DO like the sense of creating an environment of ‘newness’ to accompany the yearly renewal outside.
Many world religions have a holiday of renewal and beginning again in the spring – for Christians it is Easter. While spiritual renewal is important to me all the time – and something I consciously practice, there is also a sense of getting a chance to do it over again – hopefully, right this time, in the spring. So it’s a good time for me to look at things like taking a personal inventory, looking at any amends I need to make, seeking to ask for and to give forgiveness.
And now, for me, the great joy of spring is getting to ride my motorcycle again after her long winter nap!
What do YOU do to prepare for spring? What does the season evoke for you? Chime in and join the conversation – we’d really like to know!