Hello, Spring?

Tomorrow is officially the Vernal Equinox, or the first day of spring. The length of the day and night will be equal. Also I hear that we may be receiving some snow. Not exactly the weather I was hoping for...

For a couple of days this past week, the temperatures have soared into the sixties and I have begun to dream of planting. Every spring, I'm hit with a fanatical desire to dig. I can't wait to get my fingers into the dirt, to smell the earth, and to watch tiny seedlings sprout. My favorite thing about gardening is not the harvest. It's the first glimpse of a seed which has sprouted, stretching its delicate stem and unfolding its miniature leaves. It feels like a miracle every single time: a dry, dusty speck of fiber which I stuck in a hole turns into a green and vibrant plant. Magic.

But it is still frozen out there. I know people are sprouting seeds indoors, but I'm not set up for that. I'll wait a bit longer and plant directly into our raised beds.

In the meantime, how shall we celebrate spring?

Spring cleaning is a traditional way to welcome the new season. If you know me well, you know I hate to clean. I wish I loved it, but with two large dogs and a teenager at home, it just seems like my efforts are quickly and thoroughly negated. But I'm considering cleaning some windows to let in more light. I realize those same windows will soon have nose prints and slobber all over them. And the dogs will probably mess them up, too. Oh, well.

Not just cleaning, but simplifying is a great activity for the changing of the seasons. Clearing out the old clutter from the closets can make space for the new. Or just give everything a little more breathing room. I don't know about you, but I possess way too much stuff. Clothing, shoes, handbags, books, magazines, piles of papers, knick knacks, OMG! The list is endless. I plan to gather more of this abundance to give away this spring.

Now is a great time to sort through your winter stuff: coats, sweaters, boots, hats, scarves, sleds, skis, skates, and other seasonal equipment. You might find you have things you haven't used once all winter. Those items can be donated to a thrift store or an appropriate club.

Even if it's too early to dig and plant, spending more time outdoors can lift your spirits. The sun is already at a higher angle and even if the temperature is still low, you can feel the warmth of the rays on your face. I've been taking the dogs out in the garden and just fantasizing about the veggies I'll soon be growing out there. We've all been spending too many hours cooped up indoors this winter. Now is the time to reclaim your outdoor spaces!

Soon the daffodils will be opening their yellow and white faces, along with the crocuses. The buds are almost ready to burst on the mountain rose. The spring peepers have been singing by the pond. Signs of spring are everywhere. We won't have to wait much longer!