In the years that have passed, the coming of a new season is something that is never lost on me entirely, but happens before I’m aware of what is going on. Like a shift in your life, it’s upon you before you realize your situation and that time is flowing by so quickly. There are times that I’ve almost viewed it from outside of my body, just as an observer… this is where we are now. This is what we’re doing now. Ok, cool… we’re moving along.
As someone who has pretty significant seasonal depression and has made lifestyle changes to cope with it (thank you cannabis, for also helping with that), gradually moving farther and farther west and further from the brutal Midwest winters, Spring has always been a time of yearning for me. In Southern California, I donned my summer duds all year long (unlike the locals), but there was something different in the scent of the air and the sounds of the birds as spring approached. In Denver, Colorado, I started putting away my snowshoes and planning my garden at the sign of the first thaw. In Oakland, California, I kick my rain boots to the back of the closet and trade them in for tennies and sandals, but keep my sweaters in rotation all year long. In Waterford, Wisconsin, where I grew up, my dad is wearing his cut-off jean shorts outside with winter boots and a flannel, still shoveling out the driveway. Although my Wisconsin blood has thinned, I still believe that there are no stronger or heartier or happier people than Midwestern folks.
The start of a new season always seems to me like the start of a new era and the chance to start over fresh. It’s a drink at a new bar, a place where people don’t know your name or have preconceived expectations of what you want to order or what comes on your favorite cheese platter. It’s a fresh relationship without the things that you’ve heard and can’t forget, or the things that you’ve said and are pretending you didn’t. Every season is a new opportunity to begin again without the mistakes that we’ve made. Something about spring, no matter where you’re at, is exceptional at doing that. Whether it’s rain or sleet or fresh sunshine, new bird sounds and nests and baby animals, being a child and watching your grandpa help birth a couple of lambs, and the scent of fresh hay… Spring always gives us the chance to begin again, like we’re growing from scratch.
That’s the thing about new beginnings, isn’t it? They don’t need to be real, and they don’t need to make sense, they only need to exist in your head. Spring isn’t the cause, but it is a catalyst for that. It’s an excuse to tell ourselves what we’re capable of and believe that again.
To read more musings to make you ponder, click here.