Friday, April 15, 2016

Spring (or, the redeeming qualities of my least favorite season)

"Door, Todos Santos" by Evan / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Spring doesn't bring the same euphoria to my life as fall and winter. I can't rhapsodize about this season as I can the others. There's beauty in the way the sun comes out more than once a month, and the fact that we can shed layers and strip the wool socks from our feet, exposing our pale, bare toes to the world. But the growing length of days and diminishing shadows ruin the dreary mystery that late winter lends us. We are expected to focus on the solid footwork of our dreams, not just the bits where our heads are in the clouds. Spring is not a season for daydreaming and wishing and letting yourself drift into the night- it's a season for putting down roots and helping them grow. It's a season for shining light into the hard things, the dark things you didn't want to face… but it's also a season that hangs around and keeps holding that light for you so you can clean up your life.

A To-Do List for Spring 
Get rid of something physical you don't need/use/want.
Release something taking up mental space.
Start working on that project you've been meaning to start. 
Fill a vase with fresh flowers and put it in your window.
Spend some time outdoors in the sun, and in the inevitable light rain at the end of a beautiful week.
Take your socks off.
Grab coffee or a drink with a friend and sit outside. 
Find any and every excuse to wear sunglasses.
Wake up and top some toast with Greek feta and honey. Enjoy with coffee. 
Wear floral perfume.
Go on a long run or walk and listen to the sound of everything waking up. 
Smile at a stranger.
Explore all the parks in your town you haven't been to yet, or in a while.
Pick up a camera and capture the first signs of a beautiful summer.
Clean out your closet.
Dance around to gypsy music.
Make wishes on dandelions (and then put in the work to pull them into fruition).

"Wishes" by StephhxBby / CC BY-NC 2.0
The interesting thing about spring is that it changes every year. Obviously. But you know how every year fall brings the same atmosphere of crisp leaves and cooked pumpkin? Spring doesn't have a typical feeling (for me, at least).

I guess it is a season symbolizing change and rebirth, but I'm always amazed by how much things have changed in my life by spring each year. It's a time for fresh starts and preparing for more big dreams. Spring is the season for reflection.

For me this spring has a lot of femininity wrapped into it. I've been listening to a ton of burlesque-inspired music and Lana del Rey's Lolita and Kinda Outta Luckreading works by people like Lena Dunham and Gloria Steinem. I just finished Catlin Moran's "How To Be a Woman". The power of being female is in the center of my mind. It's the season for a claiming of self, a claiming of my history an individual and a part of a long line of strong women. I crave a celebration of this. Every time the sun comes out I want to don gossamer thin clothing and let my skin drink in the light, the warmth it's been starved of for so long. I want to let rain dance into the raised gooseflesh on my legs, dance around in one final cold breeze and wave goodbye to the last vestiges of winter. I want to feel utterly female and free.

Now you know what's going on with my spring. Take ideas from mine or discover your own. What does this season feel like for you? What is this year bringing to the front of your life? Spring is open, a beginning. It's a reminder to have an open mind, an open heart. It sneaks in bearing the pale fresh taste of a new moon then opens a book to a blank page and hands you a pen to start with.