We often think of winter as a time for hibernation spring as a time for renewal. As the trees start to bud, the world turns from white to gray to the long awaited green. We are reminded of the wonder of our earth with this transformation. I again had a tomato plant in the same spot getting morning sun and water but it was not until April that it blossomed. Now it has produced a darling little green tomato.

We start to see ads for programs to get in shape for summer. I’m big believer in changing things in my workout for the season. I trade my cross country skis for running shoes. I’m lucky to be able to teach different outdoor classes in the summer. Coming out of our hibernation, spring might make us feel like moving faster. Don’t forget to take some time out of you day to enjoy the flowering trees and spring blooming flowers. I am looking for the turtles in the channel in the park. It is always fun to see them but a special treat to see the first one.

The practice of ayurveda encourages eating lighter at this time of year. We might naturally be ready to give up the winter comfort foods. Reducing fried and oily foods can be very good for us this time of year. If you are trying to break an unhealthy snack habit try deep breathing or a five minute walk (we can go outside now yay!). If you are still hungry after this distraction, you may be OK with a lighter healthier snack.

Many of us in Minnesota have trouble with this transitional season. It might be 70 during the day and 30 degrees the next night. What do we wear? I see women in parkas, ski hats and gloves also with bare legs and high heel sandals. I was delighted to hear birds sing often and then upset they were silenced again by an April blanket of snow. Transitions between homes and jobs and relationships can also be difficult. I’m trying to learn the lessons of spring.

Such Singing in the Wild Branches by Mary Oliver (2003)

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves—
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness—
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree—
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing—
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky— all, all of them

were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then— open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.