Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Coming out of hibernation

I have been reminded by a fellow blogger that spring is sprung, or indeed, in the process of springing, across the Northern hemisphere. The days are getting longer, the light is a little brighter, and all around there are signs that we're emerging from another cold winter. Daffodils and tulips are beginning to grace the buckets at the front of supermarkets and florists, and the first flowers are poking their heads through the still-cold earth, straining to share in the little sunlight we have.

I love this time of year: leaving the house in the morning, the air feels less icy, less cruel; some mornings the sun even offers some warmth. The expression March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb is bearing true in many tiny yet significant ways. Before long the gentle sound of children playing out after school will filter through the air into my tiny house, the sound of mowers will hum softly through my weekends, reminding me why, although I don't have the city-lifestyle I once thought I wanted, that I love where I live.

Spring is a time when senses reawaken, when we remember the delicate aroma of freshly cut grass or newly blossomed flowers, or the sound of the dawn chorus. But, it's also a time when, particularly in colder countries, people seem to come out of hibernation. We connect more. We stop hiding in our little boxes, and venture into the parks and streets, and we converse, we play, we communicate. It's as though, as the cold lifts, so too do our comfort blankets, and we begin to remember what it's like to be human again. Less driven by the cold we wander and meander, we look at, instead of through, one another. Relationships are kindled and rekindled in the parks and cities as people notice one another. After the harsh survival required of us by winter, Spring seems so wonderful, nurturing and full of possibility.

Even at the March wedding we went to there were
signs of summer on their way
For me this year, Spring feels more momentous than usual because, despite the relatively mild UK winter, it feels like I'm emerging from nearly a year in the deep freeze. Slowly but steadily, there have been tiny shifts in my perspective, some of which I'm barely even aware of, but they are there none the less. The metaphor of the winter thaw is prosaic but true: I feel like I'm moving slowly from icy brittleness to a gentler, warmer place: there's the occasional ground frost still to contend with, but generally, I'm happier to embrace the new season and build connections, poke my head out of from beneath my blanket and feel both the warmth of the sun and the dampness of the rain. Just like the season, Spring, it's not all sunshine and roses, but on the days that the sun shines and her warmth penetrates our being, it reminds me of the promise that lies ahead. And I intend to make the most of it.

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