I know in my heart that spring is on the way. No matter how cold or miserable it might typically (and even atypically) be this time of year, there are many things, both well-known and personal, that seem to herald spring. Here are some of many:
1. The Vernal Equinox. (Obviously.) One of two days of the year where the day and the night are twins, not too long and not too short. As Goldilocks would say, just right. It’s a lovely thing to look forward to in the spring, as an indicator that the days will be longer than those on the equinox until the next equinox.
2. The Eastern Bluebird, the American Robin, and the American Crow. The earliest birds to show their faces, these fair-weather friends show us that the natural world knows things will get better. I enjoy watching these creatures arrive back on the scene.
3. Raccoons and skunks. Many people don’t love these critters, but I welcome them with open arms. They poke their heads out fairly early, and have faith that food options will present themselves sooner rather than later.
4. Seed catalogs. Although these lovely vegetable and flower fashion magazines start coming in December, the sheer number that have accumulated by March, coupled with the arrival of early seed orders for seed starting, remind us that greener things will soon appear.
5. Cinefest. Though it’s not a particularly springy event, the timing of Cinefest, the first film festival of the year for Art and me, couldn’t be better. The people who attend are pretty excited to see the films and see their old “film friends” that live far away, and that enthusiasm, coupled with what is usually warmer weather, makes it feel like spring.
6. Motivation to get out of bed and do something. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), so the lack of light really does me in in the wintertime. My body seems to know when the days are getting longer. Even if it is unseasonably cold, something in my mind has more get up and go this time of year than it did in the preceding months. I find myself jonesing to start spring cleaning and outdoor planning.
7. Shedding horses. Horses coats respond to light rather than temperature, so they begin to shed when the days get to a certain length. At my last lesson, I had to remove the hairs from the grooming brush twice. Pretty excited about that!
8. Daffodils. Talk about a plucky plant! These pretty ladies and gentlemen are poking through the snow before we can even see our sidewalk. They can’t wait to greet the spring! Seeing daffodils springing up always puts me in a good mood.
These are the things that let me know that my dream of spring will soon be reality. As lovely as winter can be, the changing of seasons is inevitable and welcome. I trust that many of you are looking forward to spring as much as I am.