Happy Spring Equinox! Even with dirt tipped snow banks as tall as I am, I feel spring in the air. Longer brighter days, birds chattering, and a warmer, softer breeze sing of spring's arrival. It is impossible not to feel the seasons here, and it is what I love the most about New England. Even after the longest, darkest winters, there's a time of renewal and hope. Each year I look forward to seeing the first brave flowers to reassure me that summer is coming.
For many, it is also a time a spiritual time of Lent. No matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, it is difficult not to feel the sanctity in the post-winter awakening of life. I think we all experience this in substantial or subtle ways. Maybe you do something new each year, follow old family traditions, or a little bit of both.
For me, it is about discipline to be physically ready for the demands of our quick and fleeting summer. My pace quickens, I spend more time outside and choose to walk when possible. I move more as I spring clean inside and anticipate the moment I can do the same in the yard.
Also, I feel myself awakening and planting the seeds that will nourish me and those around me the rest of the year. These seeds will make my heart healthy and full to share with loved ones. I think about grudges that I still clutch on to and try to let go. I think about unfair judgments I believe in and ask myself if I am ready to relinquish those too.
Above all, I am copiously thankful for having room to grow.
When it comes to abstinence, for 40 days I give up foods that brought me most comfort in the winter. I will leave a tiny bit of room for indulgence on Maine Maple Weekend. After Lent, I will still choose those sparingly, leaving room for the fresh ingredients of the upcoming spring and summer months. I am giddy at the thought of the first tiny harvest to come.
It feels almost effortless to awaken with the natural clock of the season. It feels healthy to lighten and quicken the pace. It is difficult not to feel like a part of something bigger and to feel thankful for this sense of belonging. What does this time of the year mean for you?
By: Dasha Smirnova