Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Hunger: Day 4 of 40 Days

On this rainy Saturday, I spent an unbelievably large chunk of my day painting the bathroom. Now, instead of the bright menthol-green that it once was, the bathroom is a nice warm and buttery yellow. The bathroom feels softer and bigger, and no longer gives me nausea while brushing my teeth. I have a few touch-ups to do tomorrow, but I am happy that that major chore is nearly finished, the last of the important ones. Now with the weather starting to turn more mild, it is time to focus my extra time on preparing the outdoor garden and getting the vegetable starts going indoors.

Tomorrow is daylight savings, and though the official first day of spring is still weeks away, it feels as if spring is arriving with the time change. The buds on trees are growning bigger every day, and the first spring flowers are in bloom. Forsythia and crocus. The daffodils look like they will be next.

Yes, mother nature has decided that spring is beginning in these parts. The most startling and sure sign was discovered yesterday in our back yard. Lucas and I had been meaning to pick up the piles of litter that someone had been bold enough to dispose of up the steep hill behind our house in the forest. They look like they have been there for a long time. We had been amazed and confused by this. Why would someone go to the trouble of hauling trash up this steep hill to dump there? It is hard to understand and hard to see everytime we hike up there.

Yesterday, we discovered the true culprit. For whoever it was had dragged one of our trashbags up the hill behind our house and emptied it onto the forest floor. The huge foot prints that were left behind on the incline of loam and pine needles through the tight low underbrush gave away our litterer.

Yep, you may have guessed it. The bears have awoken from their hibernation. And they are hungry! It is time to keep the trash in the house.


I love the symbolism that can be attached to the changing of the seasons. Isn't it true that in winter we quite naturally are inclined to partake in our own kind of hibernation? We stay indoors more, we burrow in with blankets and sweaters, we eat hearty heavy foods that help us stay warm and get through the long months of cold, we work on those crafting projects we have been putting off for awhile. We are more inwards in general, more reflective.

As spring comes, we start to shed our extra layers, we spend more time outside, we eat lighter foods that are quicker to prepare, we start to think about the new things we want to start in our lives, we put into action what we have been dreaming of all winter, we start to become more outward again.

Ok, this may not be true for everyone, especially in modern culture where we are further removed from nature, and it may not happen in all climates. But, I can see this as a natural rhythm that humans and nature alike are part of. I like to keep it in mind, anyway, as the seasons shift. These thoughts help me to be intentional with how I use my time and energy, in ways that reflect this natural change.

So, for now I think about what new things I can start up (like the starts for my garden, a new knitting project, and time invested into new friendships), and what old things I can give a fresh new liveliness to (like my sporadic and stale exercise routine, the decorations I have out in my house, and the foods I am in the habit of preparing.)

This time of year is all about momentum forward, the potential of growth and development, new beginnings, projects taking off, our energy being best spent outwards. Like the bears, spring inspires us to renew our hunger for life. So, lets wake up, stretch our limbs, and respond to what new delicious projects we are hungry for.

Just mind where you dump your trash, ya hear?

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