Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes… -Carl Friedrich Gauss

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It’s springtime in the Northern Hemisphere and signs of spring flourish everywhere. I’ve just completed a spring “fresher-upper” of our San Diego condo. New paint does wonders! The most challenging part of the project? Re-hanging about 100 pieces of art and photography. We completed that task last week, just in time for Easter celebrations. I wore a new spring skirt to church, ivory-and-black with butterflies dancing at the hem. At home, I positioned bright yellow daffodils in every room.

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We have three blue-green eggs hidden in the hanging geranium plant on our patio. With the mother chirping and flying back-and-forth, I am fearful of disturbing the bucolic scene. But it’s wonderful to know that she is there and will take good care of her chicks.

Did you know that you can renew those New Year’s resolutions you failed to keep? Yes!! Spring allows you to start over again—it’s a season of hope, of new beginnings, and of second chances. Two of my resolutions didn’t work well together. I combined a huge writing goal with the desire to shed ten pounds. Sitting at the computer for hours on end defeated the weight goal; I gained instead. So now I’ve joined Weight Watchers® and this time, I’m serious.

With worldwide terrorism dominating the news, these words by Madeleine M. Kunin are comforting: “When all the world appears to be in a tumult…the seasons retain their essential rhythm. Yes, fall gives us a premonition of winter, but then, winter, will be forced to relent, once again, to the new beginnings of soft greens, longer light, and the sweet air of spring.”

Spring is also a growing season, and in all of nature, there’s a built-in desire to grow, to improve, to make it better, to make a difference. Above all, growing is my goal for the rest of the year, and I trust that it’s yours as well.

  

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Happy Passover and Easter! This holiday weekend, I’m in a happy, yet contemplative mood. I look back on my New Year’s resolutions and while I’ve completed some, I’m still working on others. The promise of spring is that it’s still early enough in the year to make my resolutions and dreams come true. Or I can change my mind, push the reset button, and start anew.

What is spring to you?

To Emily Dickinson, spring was madness, and so she wrote this:

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown —
Who ponders this tremendous scene —
This whole Experiment of Green —
As if it were his own! 

T.S. Eliot, in The Waste Land wrote:

“April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.” 

To those living in America’s northeast or Europe’s north, this month must be especially cruel. One day keeps the promise of spring and the next brings winter back again. But nature is forever optimistic. Crocus buds shoot through the snow to toward the light. Bluebirds find a new (or old) home to birth their young. And pileated woodpeckers, squared off in a shouting match, call and drum, then listen for the other to respond.

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One cannot help but feel joyful in the spring. Even Hemingway, who was never the consummate optimist, said in A Moveable Feast:

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” 

I know it’s spring when I have this innate urge to dig in the dirt. This week, I’m busy planting pots full of succulents, in keeping with California’s fourth year of drought. Getting down to earth, I close with Margaret Atwood in Bluebeard’s Egg:

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”