It’s officially spring in the Northern Hemisphere, the time of year when we begin to enjoy more daylight than dark. It’s also a time when the world, literally, comes into balance.
On March 20 each year, the vernal equinox, both the southern and northern hemispheres experience approximately 12 equal hours of day and night. This is because the earth’s axis is neither tilted toward or away from the sun.
Can you feel the change in the season? Maybe the weather’s turned a little warmer or the snow’s beginning to melt or you notice birds chirping. Spring heralds the end of the cold, dark winter and the beginning of longer, warmer days. It’s also a time of possibility when crops and gardens are planted, animals in the wild are born and small buds begin appearing on the trees.
Around the world, different cultures celebrate spring with unique traditions. In China, people try balancing eggs, honoring the idea that the earth is in balance. Eggs are also used to symbolize new life in many spring celebrations, including Easter and Passover. In Japan, people remember their ancestors during the spring equinox as they cross over into world of enlightenment. In Iran, they celebrate the New Year or Norwuz,according to the Persian calendar, on the first day of spring.
Where I live, the cherry trees are blooming, their delicate petals a reminder of renewal. When it’s not raining, we like to hang out on our brick patio, sunning ourselves or doing chalk drawings. This year, we had the added bonus of viewing the final supermoon of 2019 — what an awe inspiring sight!
Here are few ways for you and your family to connect with the cadence of the season and honor the arrival of spring:
Just as the earth is in balance, so too can we think about ways to balance ourselves and our surroundings. It’s not always easy to find our center, but spring is a time of renewal so why not try a few simple centering practices? This is a wonderful time to begin a meditation or yoga practice, either on your own or with your kids. If you’re itching to make space in your home, now’s the perfect time to declutter or “spring clean” to make room for new projects.
Speaking of new projects, spring also prompts us to think about our goals, where we’re headed and even about embarking on a new journey. Is there a skill you or your child wants to master or a book series you want to read? Did you mean to start volunteering more often or have one more family dinner a week in the beginning of the year but haven’t quite started? Spring’s a wonderful time to regroup, re-evaluate and simply begin.
What better way to honor spring than to plant a garden? It’s an amazing thing to watch a plant grow from a tiny seed into a fully blooming flower or tender, delicious vegetable. Kids especially love to monitor a plant’s progress. Don’t have an outdoor garden? It’s simple to create one indoorsand help your kiddo chart the seedlings’ growth.
Spring is an excellent time to renew friendships or deepen ties with family. Gathering around the table to enjoy a meal is a perfect and scrumptious way to do this. Many religious practices, like Passover and Easter, Iranian Nowruzand Hindu Holiincorporate a hearty spring feast. Look for spring vegetables, like asparagus, sugar snap peas and radish. Have your kids help pick out produce at the grocery store of farmer’s market and brainstorm ways to prepare it.
The changing seasons always lend themselves to gratitude. In spring, we can be thankful for the warm sun, a growing garden and celebrating with family and friends. Take a moment with your family to go outdoors, connect with nature and share what you’re grateful for.