Feeling a bit rushed off your feet? The blanket’s been ripped away, the hot chocolate sediment has settled at the bottom of the unfinished mug and the book has been abandoned by the easy chair. Up is down and it’s not just the chaos of the political races contributing to that unsettled feeling. Wait, wait, I haven’t finished knitting that scarf, didn’t make borscht, never needed the comfort of bread pudding. But it’s time.
Set the clocks ahead, go buy some jellybeans, scatter some wildflower seeds!
Spring’s come early this year. Each day the sunshine breaks through the clouds and we can feel our energy rising. Does it seem premature? Are you ready or not to lift yourself up and out the door with a lighter step? Never mind that the sweaters and coats are still in the hallway. Forget that April Fool’s Day snowstorm. Throw on a jacket and get outside now! The freshness of the new season is waiting for us to embrace it, so turn on the Stravinsky, stop waiting for the winter shoe to drop and devise your own Rite of Spring.
Breathe in the fresh air. Open the doors and windows wide. Exchange that stale winter air for a refreshing breeze of positive qi. (Don’t worry, you can close them again after if you feel chilled.) Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and position your hands over your torso. Reach up with arms wide, then slowly lower the hands back down in front of you, taking a full inhale and exhale. Repeat that several times and end by standing quietly with eyes closed for a slow count of 10.
Taste the change of seasons. Make a root vegetable stock with all the ends of winter vegetables in your refrigerator: carrot tops, celery, beet greens, parsnips, what-have-you. Simmer slowly for 45 minutes then strain and discard the solids. Add some pea shoots, baby peas, early spring onions, and some parsley, of course! Simmer until tender, adjust your seasoning, top with a grating of lemon peel and savor the promise of the fresh fruits and vegetables to come.
Look around outside. The daffodil buds are thickening, forsythia is greening up and the hellebores are here! These deer nibble-proof perennial gems come in an array of colors for your garden. That snuggly chair will still be waiting when evening darkness falls.
All Photos Claire Mauro