Four Ways to Connect With Spring

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The blossoms arrived before the leaves. We watched as the buds grew and started to open. The white flowers soon exploded like balls of popcorn covering the trees, and looking out our second-floor windows made us feel as if we were living among the clouds. We watched the bright green leaves grow behind the blossoms, very slowly dulling the white. One day the wind swept through noisily, shaking the aging petals right off their stems. And just like that, there was more green than white.

Then we noticed the tinted light filtering through those new leaves into our kitchen, the daffodils nodding their heads with the wind, the tender new growth appearing on the bush behind our house, and the birdsong that wasn’t as strong yesterday. Oh spring is wondrous, isn’t it? The interesting thing is that I wouldn’t have perceived these changes a few years ago, because I wasn’t looking. Oh, I’d have seen the blossoms and the flowers - the big things - but I didn’t slow down enough to watch the small ones.

There is one tree across the street that looks like all the other Bartlett pears around us, maybe a little smaller. But while all the others have pure white flowers, this one has flowers tinged with radiant pink. It’s so slight that you don’t see it until you are right under the tree. And then you want to go back again and again to marvel at it. Spring is ever-changing, and that is the beauty of it. Nature is putting on a show; it’s brilliance is on display for those who are watching. That is what I missed. And though I’ve been forced to slow down because of life’s circumstances, it doesn’t have to come that way for you. So for this season, here are four ways you can choose to experience spring in it’s slow glory.

  1. Pick your own strawberries.

    Strawberries are in season April-June. They are the first berries to ripen, a delicious promise of the bounty summer will soon bring. Enjoy them fresh and freeze the rest for special treats throughout the year.

  2. Do a little spring cleaning.

    There’s a reason spring cleaning exists. After being hunkered down indoors for months, a top-to-bottom clean breathes new life into us and our homes. Be sure to throw open your doors and windows to let fresh, clean air inside. This would be a great time to swap out traditional chemical cleaners for natural ones to keep toxins out of circulation.

  3. Throw a spring party.

    (After the spring cleaning ;)) Winter was a time of intimate gatherings with close friends, but this season is a time when we rediscover the joy of parties. If the weather is good, take it outside and enjoy the warmth of the spring sun.

  4. Go on a nature walk.

    But don’t wander very far. Instead, pause every time something catches your eye. Look a little closer. How many species are growing in the “grass”? Can you tell the difference between a tree’s new and old leaves? What patterns do you see? Is the moss growing in the sidewalk crack as soft as it looks? Experience the world at a different scale and pace than normal, and pay attention to how you feel afterward. Are you calmer? Do you feel more creative? Are you breathing slower? What has changed?

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