On Seasons, Spring, and Dreams

Posted on May 3, 2011

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Ah, May.  My favorite month of the year.  This might not be a typical May for many… Back in Minnesota, I hear there were flurries and blurries on this past Mayday weekend.  Not to mention all those tornadoes in the southern U.S.  Here in El Salvador, instead of the old adage that “April showers brings May flowers” it seems that in this tropical climate I can expect May showers and June showers and July showers and so on up until September or so.  Uff da!

But it’s funny how the seasons live in your blood, more so than in the weather around you.  Even as we enter the Central American “winter” (invierno), I’m amazed at how my body and mind still seethe Spring.  Spring is a time of renewal.  Growth, newness — it’s a time to flourish and bloom.  New Year’s resolutions have never worked for me.  But in Spring, I all of a sudden feel the natural urge to eat lighter meals (bean soup excepted, of course), to wake up earlier, to do more yoga, to start big projects, to create and thrive and feel vibrantly alive.   That “out with the old, in with the new” mentality.

Which got me thinking about Spring Cleaning.  I’ve never really had a practice of Spring Cleaning in the traditional sense, in the scrubbing-the-floor-down-on-your-hands-and-knees sense.  But I’m a big fan of the concept, and of the figurative ways we can apply it in our life.

So on a personal level, how can you engage in Spring Cleaning for yourself?  This is the perfect time of year to kick old habits, or to start up new ones.  To bring Creativity and Gumption out of storage and create something new.

Lovely LilacsWe can undertake a “Spring Cleaning” in our relationships, too.  What changes could you and your partner initiate, or re-implement?  For instance, has a commitment to a weekly dressy date night fallen by the wayside?  What about pulling out that dainty negligee from your honeymoon instead of wearing that oversized T-shirt to bed?  Maybe a joint gym membership or participating in a co-ed intramural would provide fresh entertainment in your relationship.  Or try getting to work on that home DIY project that you’ve been planning all winter.

“Spring Cleaning” conjures up images of donning yellow rubber gloves, grabbing a good sponge, and scrubbing down all the dirty surfaces.  But doesn’t it also evoke ideas of setting out fresh-cut lilacs on the table?  Of spritzing lemony or floral scents all around?  Of little buds bursting out on the trees, or bringing the bike up from the basement?

Juan and I are getting down to business opening a cafe in a quaint corner of a charming colonial building in Santa Tecla.  It’s a dream we’ve had for a long time, and now is finally the time to see it bloom!  More on that in the future.  For now, there’ll be a lot of work ahead — but there’s no time like Spring to start anew.  What kind of actions can YOU take to freshen up your relationship?

YOUR Action Step:  Take a quick stock (let’s not overwhelm ourselves!) of the areas that could use a little sprucing up in your love life.  Think of a simple action that you and your partner can implement to add a sense of freshness or renewal to your relationship.  Maybe you could visit to a site that inspires flourishing and growth — say, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (free entrance with an ID from the U of M!).  Or put the nice sheets on the bed.  Tell each other five compliments each morning.  Take a concrete step towards a shared dream.  Whatever it is, try something new — something small and realizable —  and see what kind of fruit it bears!  Happy May, friends.

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