March brings a month of mag­nif­i­cent prom­ise

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - OPINION - ANNE EL­SPETH REC­TOR

At 6:20 a.m. on Mon­day, March 20 the spring equinox ar­rives; mark­ing the mo­ment when count­less Cana­di­ans emerge from the cob­webs of cooped-up cab­ins to leave be­hind the dark­est time of the year... metaphor­i­cally speak­ing.

Even with such mild win­ters – and Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary were in­cred­i­bly mild — robins and grack­les back by Fam­ily Day; Cana­di­ans long pine for these lengthening, light­en­ing days. That’s be­cause we aren’t merely swad­dling and hud­dling against win­ter’s cold tem­per­a­tures, although, sig­nif­i­cantly less so, these cli­mate­cook­ing days. Rather, we’re climb­ing back out of the mole-like, hole-like feel­ings that kept us more slug­gish and less so­cial to, in­stead, seek out an en­er­getic burst that will help us re­turn to fight­ing forms. Our mirac­u­lous sun can do that. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that first whiff of warm, spring air, that ‘Ah, there it is’ swirling sense of op­ti­mism and po­ten­tial in­dus­try that ac­com­pa­nies this sea­son of in­spi­ra­tion. I no­tice an uptick in cheer­ful crit­ter ex­pres­sions and feel the warmth of a strength­en­ing sun... har­bin­gers of com­forts to come, and as the sig­nals of spring en­velop they be­gin to spur me to­ward sea­sonal projects... will I hold a yard sale with these things I’m never go­ing to use, or should I start plan­ning this year’s gar­den? What will I pho­to­graph next? What new vista might we visit?

It’s a wel­come tra­di­tion these north­ern rit­u­als of awak­en­ing; a pe­riod when we col­lec­tively poke our heads above ground to sur­vey the soon-to-be muddy land­scape after months of ly­ing low... then slowly, and gre­gar­i­ously, gear back up and be­gin to fully ac­com­plish once again. It’s a heady time of year when most of us perk up con­sid­er­ably.

Ris­ing cheer is a sig­nif­i­cant boost to all our lives. More than we have for months we ex­pe­ri­ence im­proved fo­cus, in­spired thoughts and es­sen­tially, more pos­i­tive at­ti­tudes. It’s a lovely thing to feel... as hope­ful­ness set­tles sweetly through each March.

This isn’t true for ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially those who suf­fer from de­pres­sion, but many of us be­gin to show that lit­tle bit of light­ness in our step, a lit­tle more re­silience, a tad more tough­ness to weather what­ever comes next be­cause; ‘Ah, well, ‘tis spring.’ That’s why I think of March as a month of mag­nif­i­cent prom­ise.

Des­ti­na­tions are planned and loved ones’ re­unions ar­ranged; new ideas are floated and pitches bet­ter framed. Houses are cleaned, cot­tages get sorted and con­struc­tion busily com­mences. We set down books and blan­kets to strike up con­ver­sa­tions. We pick up tips and tools and take plenty more walks. We shed boots and gloves and, if we’re lucky, con­tem­plate new spring things. We set more goals, sort our piles and gen­er­ally so­cial­ize more; whether over back­yard fences and yard work, or across golf cour­ses, boat yards and mari­nas. It’s as if we emerge more ap­pre­cia­tive, more in­clined to over­come... at least it seems so, ini­tially.

Un­doubt­edly, we lighten up. Or as they say in the County: “That’s more bet­ter then.”

This doesn’t al­ter the pres­sures and prob­lems of daily liv­ing, but it does of­fer most of us an en­er­gized re­newal of re­sources. By mim­ick­ing Mother Na­ture, by echo­ing her re­turn to life, we can bet­ter re­fuel our tanks – spring be­ing more up­lift­ing than ef­fer­ves­cent, lo­cal wine. We drop by friends more of­ten and dig more deeply into tasks. We may even bet­ter de­fer for at its core spring pro­vides en­cour­age­ment, and en­cour­age­ment con­sis­tently strength­ens.

It isn’t so much fresh eyes with which we greet each spring, but how the dark sea­son’s ab­sences and re­stric­tions fi­nally lift to find us much more grate­ful... and usu­ally, for far less.

As our paces pick up steam and our rhythms re­turn to rou­tine that’s a wel­come, waft­ing breeze... and re­fresh­ing, buoy­ant breath.

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