This past week was spring break for my chidren. I was lucky enough to have the week off from work as well. Much of the time was spent with my girls doing all sorts of fun things. We did Carowinds one day, (Yes, I rode The Fury) saw a few movies, and went out to eat a couple of times. I wanted to ensure my girls had a fun spring break since we weren’t going away for the week like we did last year.
Like most days off, my daughters will sleep in until almost noon each day so I have time every morning to spend by myself doing whatever I choose j
This past week, the weather was absolutely perfect for pretty much any outdoor activity. Since I”m a homeowner, my activity of choice is usually working in the yard, planting flowers, grass or my vegetable garden, particulary around this time of year. So while my children slept in, I hauled yards of mulch from my front yard to the back, in the hope of transforming my barren wasteland into something I would be proud of. Plants were purchased, holes were dug, edging was placed. I am pleased to say that in one week, my yard, while not worthy of an HGTV photo shoot, is ready for entertaining.
I love springtime, like most people. After a winter like the one we had this year, seeing the tulips and the daffodils poke their heads out of the ground makes me feel happier than a teeny plant ought to. But isn’t that what spring is all about? It’s a re-birth; a chance to begin anew.
Once we feel certain there will be no more snow, we can all store our winter clothes in the far corner of the closet, since we’re pretty confident we won’t need to reach for them again for several months. The boots are tucked away in the attic, right next to the Christmas decorations.
With the longer days and warmer sunshinse, people begin to spend more time outdoors. My neighborhood is a flurry of activity. People are outside with their babies, walking their dogs, or just strolling along with their significant other. Every year I look forward to seeing my neighbors once again after the winter hibernation.
And there is a change in everyone’s demeanor as well. During the winter months, each of us drives by the other in our cars, waving to each other as we slowly navigate through the slushy streets. Windows are rolled up and we are buried beneath several layers of clothing. It’s all we can do to lift our hand up to wave. With the wamer weather, gone are the bulky jackets and knitted scarves. Instead, we are walking in our shorts and t-shirts along streets that are bursting with color. We actually stop to speak to one another instead of driving by as though we are terrfied of opening our car window a mere inch.
To me, this is yet another re-birth. Neighbors are renewing the friendships that were left dormant during the winter months. People begin standing in their front yard in order to speak to their neighbor about the new plants or the sod that was recently laid down. I find myself simply looking for a reason to be outside instead of sitting inside on my couch. Just the feeling of the warm sun on my back as I survey all that i’ve done to my yard is all I need to feel a sense of accomplishment.
So now that spring is here and in full bloom, get out there! Plant something. Meet a neighbor. Walk your dog. Or just sit outside and enjoy the re-birth you see all around.
Donna Small is the author of Just Between Friends and A Ripple in the Water. Her next novel, Through Rose Colored Glasses, will be released this summer.