Something exciting is happening this week. The days seem to be getting longer and the sun has been shining, making everything look just that little bit brighter. Spring is springing, evident from the improvement in weather and emergence of beautiful colourful displays in front gardens. All thoughts of winter misery are starting to fade and it’s time to plan.
Oh I love to plan. I love to plan new projects, such as decorating a room or painting the garden shed. I enjoy planning what plants to buy for my new-look garden and I really love planning family days out. In fact, I usually spend so much time planning, Spring is over before I know it!
Not this year. This year I’m in a new house and I’m full of ideas, for the garden especially. I can’t wait to get stuck in, my paintbrushes and trowel at the ready. Now if only my calendar could be a little more forgiving…
This is what’s so amazing about this time of year. It inspires. Winter seems so long, as we trudge our way through cold and wet school runs, icy commutes to work and miserable train delays due to the wrong type of rain falling somewhere near the track. Then the days start to warm up and we can fling open the windows, breathing in the fresh smell of new beginnings. Thoughts turn from steak and kidney pies and a warming Shiraz to salmon nicoise and a crisp Pinot Grigio.
The trouble is, we often get a bit carried away. First you notice the skirts getting shorter, shorts appear and so do the nobbly knees. Then you get a whiff of charcoal, as a neighbour lights up their first BBQ of the year. The freezer is stocked up with ice lollies and you swap your winter wardrobe for your summer one.
Except that it’s not yet summer. And then comes the disappointment, the impatient wishing away time. Yes summer’s great, but let’s take the time to enjoy this very special time of year first. Hay fever aside, there are so many reasons to love spring.
Many special events happen in this season, such as Easter. This is a time to celebrate, as many workers get a 4 day weekend and families come together for Easter egg hunts and roast lamb and mint sauce. It’s a great time to take the kids to a local farm, to see the wonder of new calves and a chevron of ducklings loyally following their mother. Many public places of interest host spring themed activities, such as egg hunts and nature trails. There are also various orienteering challenges around, which kids love. With the weather warmer, what better excuse for dusting off the bikes and getting some fresh air?
Kids love kites and kites love wind. This is a great time of year to get up high and watch the excitement on your kids’ faces as their kite soars through the sky. Just don’t let go or it could be a pretty miserable journey home! April showers bring opportunities for splashing in puddles and I just love the smell of woodlands in the rain.
The Hindu festival of Holi is observed, with Nepal especially becoming an explosion of colour and laughter. I love the idea of this and it really captures the essence of spring. Friends and family come together to soak up the fun, coating each other in paint and dancing to live music. It is also known as a festival of forgiveness and new starts. Back to that idea of spring being a new beginning again.
A favourite part of this time of year for me is the sound of birdsong. My feeders are full of seeds and nuts and my chair is in prime position to become a resident twitcher. The hope that pretty little birds will visit the garden often gives way to the realisation that greedy pigeons and rooks chase them off, but I continue to watch in anticipation! I want to get the kids more involved this year too and my eldest has an insect house ready to paint and glue together. Even if I have to place a rather creepy looking earwig in there myself, I’m looking forward to seeing the excitement on his face when he spots it.
Chunky coats are replaced with lighter jackets and gilets. Which brings me onto another favourite of mine, wearing clothes that I may have had for years but once more feel new. Instead of feeling like the Michelin man in bundles of layers, I can feel confident once more in prettier outfits, my pale limbs slowly emerging from their woolly prisons. I won’t slip into the trap of slipping into a summer dress just yet though, for I’m one of the more sensible ones that realises it is March, not July.
Now is a good time to buy winter clothes too, as many shops have their end of line stock on sale. Kids especially don’t care that their new winter coat is last season’s offering and you can save yourself quite a bit of money.
Spring cleaning is an essential part of this time of year for me. Cleaning the insides of my windows, wiping out kitchen cupboards and finally getting round to a bit of de-cluttering. All of the winter dirt and mess erased and the house is ready for its new start. The garden furniture is treated to its annual oiling and the covers discarded. It’s like a different house, full of so much promise. I can almost hear the sound of the lawn mower and the sound of chatter and laughter from the patio.
As this is a time for new beginnings, why not bring that into other parts of your life? If you’ve always fancied joining a dance class, do it. How about a beauty therapy course? Or a boot camp? Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Find an evening class and follow your dreams. Maybe you just miss reading like you used to, so take a look in the shops or online and see what bargains you can pick up. If you’re a bit of a history buff, why not see what events are on in your local area and go along. You never know, you might learn something new and meet like-minded people in the process.
We may not pop out babies every spring like our hairy friends in the fields, but we can use it as a timestamp to stop putting off those life goals, however small, and start pursuing them. Life is for living and spring is for new beginnings. So use this time as the spring board (see what I did there?) and breathe in that new lease of life.
Photo credits: StockPhoto, Annabelle Breakey, worldfestivals.net, mycleaninglady.com