Spring Has Sprung!

Deciduous magnolia heralds spring

I live in the South. Spring arrived early this year with promises of sunny warm days and blooms galore. Spring is my favorite season as, to me, it heralds new beginnings. Traditionally viewed as a time of rebirth, spring lifts my spirits as trees bud, perennials poke out of the ground and hummingbirds arrive to take up their summer residence and raise another brood.

If you are retired, or not, this is the perfect time to start something new. If a New Year’s resolution didn’t stick, give it a second go round.  Or, choose an adventure, visiting a place you always wanted to see, but never took the time to go there. This may be the season to explore your creative side — yes, you are creative! Take up a new hobby or go to a class such as plein air (French for open air) painting. You’ll get to enjoy learning something new outside in the fresh air and make some new friends.

Speaking of outside, visit your backyard to plant a new tree or bush or flowers or prepare your summer garden. Feed the birds. Winter is not the season when birds are in desperate need of food; it’s spring when all the seed heads have been gobbled up by our winged friends and there’s little natural food available. I delight in watching the cardinals, Carolina wrens and black-capped chickadees flitting around the feed spread on a stone wall behind my house. If you live in an apartment or condo, hike a local trail or visit a neighborhood park or arboretum. Even if your spring is not as warm as mine, after a cold, snowy winter, a fifty degree day can be, well, a breath of fresh air.

Spring is also a time for clearing out the inside of the house, simplifying our surroundings to make room for lazy summer days. This is when I declutter to the nth degree. I don’t have a lot of knick-knacks to begin with but what I do have is further reduced — who wants to spend the summer dusting — not me. This is when heavy blankets and quilts are exchanged for summer weight duvets. Time for a deep cleaning of everything. Last week I went through my closet and clothing I hadn’t worn in the last year was delivered to Goodwill. Ditto for the garage storage closet. Clear the dust and clutter and open the windows on a warm sunny day. You’ll feel better.

Taking this time of rebirth to renew your spirit, your creativity and assess your surroundings will hopefully set the tone for the remainder of your year. Happy spring!

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