This has waited until after Easter because I didn’t want to get caught up in the Easter/Eoster/Ostara/Ishtar, etc., debate. Don’t want to debate at all, in fact, but do appreciate deep, sincere, and even intense conversation.
For almost half my life, I’ve lived where there are perhaps two seasons; dry and wet, hot and hotter, cool and less cool. In a very real way, Spring is just a date on a calendar as are Summer, Fall, and Winter. When I left Western New York to return to California, a former co-worker asked/said, “Aren’t you going to miss the winter, I love the four seasons.” My reply? “Then you can shovel all my snow.”
While cool weather has proven in the long run to be easier to adapt to (layers, layers, layers!), the warm and even not (but not too hot!) are easier on my physical body. Let’s set aside any metaphysical speculation about why. Simple biology and physiology sometimes do provide the answers we need. A tendency toward auto-immune reactions including joint inflammation and pain (arthritis) has resulted in narrowed comfortable temperature ranges. Watching dietary triggers has gone a long, long way toward keeping this in check, but the numerous soft-tissue injuries incurred as a child and young adult that were, “walked off,” did their damage. Staying out of temperatures below 50 degrees (yes, F … not fully facile in C) and above 90 seem to be what is best tolerated.
Does this matter? I lived in San Diego for a number of years and enjoyed the climate of, “clear, sunny, 72,” for the ease in function and in wardrobe it provided. Apart from the seasonal affective disorder the lack of sunlight brought on, both Monterey and San Francisco also proved to be very much within my comfort zone (going to where the sun was shining was a simple solution).
What does any of this have to do with Spring? The weather, dear ones, the weather. Spring in the temperate parts of this continent (North America, which does include Mexico, no matter what some geographers are trying to tell us) brings back weather in the 60s and 70s. Clearly, my body chooses to seek out Spring year-round … who am I to argue?
Spring brings renewed blossoming, even here in the desert where plants like sage bloom after almost every rare rain, even or especially during the summer monsoon. Just now, the wildly overgrown prickly pear in my neighbors’ yard is full of glorious yellow flowers which will yield the eventually-deep red, juicy pears that become so much jelly and juice and ice cream (!) once processed with heavy gloves and fire … it’s not for nothing they’re called prickly pear.
Spring brings the intense, UV-dense sunlight that burns Nordic skin like mine in 5 minutes and blisters it in 15. There’s a reason my ancestors up near the Arctic Circle lived with easy access to tasty, oily fish like salmon, cod, and herring. Vitamin D shows up in many ways, so risking melanoma isn’t necessary even in the desert. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Spring brings greater outdoor experiences to many who shun snow-related activities. The majority of us in this homogenized culture are now encouraged to wear clothing that we in the hot and not-as-hot or even just spring-like parts of the continent wear year-round. As a motorcyclist, I can ride year-round, especially in winter as daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70 in December make for very pleasant riding. The trade-off is that the roads fill with snowbirds and become very, very dangerous places.
Spring brings the migration of birds as they head back north. Our citrus and fig trees fill with flocks of singing birds who clearly enjoy the shade, the water, the insects, and then move on. This happens also in the Fall as they head south ahead of the snow and cold.
Spring brings a settling in before the, “oven turns on.” Get the yard, trees, bushes, and cacti sorted out before 6 months of daytime 95 and 105 temperatures. Last year we endured/enjoyed over a month of over 100 every day before, “cooling,” to 98 for a few days. It stays that hot at night now, too since the Valley of the Sun is increasingly paved and built over with suburban sprawl which means heat-retaining concrete and asphalt and houses and offices.
Spring brings renewal, new life, new opportunities. However, living in perpetual spring or spring/summer has shown me that renewal, new life, and new opportunities are ours to claim every day, in every season. We humans are not limited by the seasons as we awaken to our true nature. This is a process that transcends even the limits of climate and season. If anything, Spring encourages us to renew our renewal, to redouble our efforts at stillness to listen to the song of the Universe within and without. Spring brings us back to where we have always been if we allow ourselves to do so.
Spring comes without our efforts as does our inner growth, awakening, and yes, enlightening. We work to be still, we strive to be quiet, we stretch to stay centered, we move toward what we cannot catch by chasing … Spring brings a new sense of, “is-ness,” to the Earth that can remind us to simply Be.