Yes, Virginia, There IS a Spring – And it Will Come

This afternoon I took a break from writing to run over to Sam’s Club and pick up a few necessary but boring supplies. I was feeling over-fed, under-exercised, and generally fed up with the winter weather. Earlier in the day I had heard from fellow gardeners across the country who were feeling exactly the same. Something about this winter’s weather has been getting on our collective nerves. Every time we think we’re getting a break we get slammed with something unexpected – snow too far south, east winds that wreak havoc, weak sunshine followed by a hard freeze and ice everywhere.

Anyway I walked into Sam’s Club feeling positively grumpy about life in general and I came face to face with spring in all its glory. Bags of potting soil next to raised bed kits and lounge chairs enveloped me with the essence of the end of winter. My shopping cart was inexorably pulled away from the shampoo and vitamins toward the promise of sunshine and warm weather. As I walked past the wheelbarrows, hoses, and decorative pots I swear I could hear my grumpy demeanor break away and come crashing down into a thousand pieces.

When I got home I went for a walk with the dogs and began thinking about how to foster the feeling of spring that I desperately needed in order to dispel the blue funk of winter. First I think I’m going to break out my scented candles and plan to light them at least once a day. Sounds silly, perhaps, but I find I am strongly influenced by light and scent. Speaking of light, I’m going to get outside every time I can see the sun, even if it is only for a few minutes. Tomorrow’s high is going to be barely above freezing here in Fort Worth but if I can find a sheltered spot, I can get a little light therapy.

Next I’m going to change my tablecloths to spring colors and bring out my spring decorations . Tucked away in the garage I have plastic storage bins of decorative items for every season of the year. This allows me to change the season indoors and brighten the mood. For spring, I have swags of ivy and silk flowers, ceramic decorations in pastel colors, and a vintage collection of cloth dolls and animals. Add a couple of pieces from my Depression Glass collection (which is quite cheerful, despite the name) and I have a transformed indoor environment.

I think it’s also  time to make some small changes to our foods. Winter tends to bring out the heavy meats, biscuits, hot soups and other high carbohydrate foods. I need on eat a few more fruits and vegetables. I’ve gotten out of the habit of orange juice with breakfast and it’s time to add it back in. Citrus is in season so I think I’ll put grapefruit to the shopping list. When it comes to snacks, perhaps something with fruit and nuts instead of cheese and crackers. And dinner – well, I’ve got to revive the art of the salad. When I feel down, I tend to skimp on food preparation, and there goes the salad! Time to remember that fresh is good for us in more ways than one.

Last, but not least, I need to start planning my spring garden. Yes, the soil is too darned cold and wet to cultivate but I can get out there and make some plans. Carrying a pencil and notepad I jot down what herbs need dividing and moving, where I should plant some color, and which garden bed needs to be overhauled. Then when I get breaks in the weather I already know what I can do that only takes a half an hour here or fifteen minutes there. It won’t be long before the daffodils are up and I can set out dill, cilantro and basil in the warm spring sunshine. Spring will come.

In the meantime, you’ll excuse me – I have to pour myself a glass of apple juice.

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If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.Anne Bradstreet
Meditations Divine and Moral

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