We're singing the praises of spring here in Toledo, Ohio. Now that warmer temperatures have finally arrived, folks are out and about riding bikes, hiking at the park, and spending their free time in a host of ways that don't include shoveling, shivering, or de-icing. Yes, forty-five degrees seems like a heat wave in my hometown, but I'll take it.
Although yesterday was April Fools, it seemed more like March winds were blowing. One of my students told me this morning she was reluctant to take her little Chihuahua out for a walk for fear that she'd lift off the ground like a helium balloon. I myself was hiking at Wildwood and was nearly toppled by the gusts that blew through the park. By the time I met my friend for lunch, my hair was a complete mess.
Not that I care all that much.
I've been growing it out for the past year or so, and it's in that in-between stage that used to have me running to my hairdresser for a quick crop. This time around, my pal, Harshil, has suggested I let it get to my shoulders and then reevaluate how it looks. Funny guy.
After my late lunch with Lisa, I had to get ready for a workshop and was debating on either washing my hair so it would look presentable to my students or making another choice. Ultimately I decided to go the other way and, for the first time in over fifteen years, was able to put it into a French braid. What a freedom to pull it back and teach yoga. No longer am I constantly tucking it behind my ears after a down dog or pushing it out of my eyes every time I come out of a standing forward bend.
Oh, it's a joy to once again be able to do something new this spring. So, I've made a list of the top ten things I can do now that winter is finally over. Feel free to add to them in the comments section below this blog!
1. I can finally put the shovel and rock salt in the basement. If any more snow flies, it'll melt soon enough.
2. I can walk outside nearly every single day. Bonus points for when I don't need to wear gloves or handwarmers.
3. I can actually open and clean the double-hung windows, wiping away months of grime and residue so that the sun can shine more brightly into my home.
4. Speaking of sunshine, the sun room is finally open for business (albeit from 3 PM onward). Take it from my cats, it's heaven to go out there and soak in a sunbeam at the end of the day.
5. As I walked through my gardens this morning, I could see little sprouts of green everywhere! Daffodils and Daylilies and Tulips...oh, my!
6. I can sit on my front porch swing again...my favorite place to read and write and chat with friends.
7. I can gradually put away my winter sweaters and pull out lighter clothing, focusing on pastels and cottons instead of darker shades and wool blends.
8. I'm choosing to eat lighter and am more than excited that our local green grocer, Rhodes Garden Fresh, is open again! They're located on Monroe Street near Douglas Road. I'm heading over as soon as I finish this blog...I hear avocados are on sale!
9. Even though I spent most of the winter indoors, I can appreciate the stamina I developed in living within extreme circumstances I could not change. The experience of enduring the most difficult of winters is now becoming a fading memory, and while I'm certain I won't soon forget this season, the lessons learned can now be used in other areas of my life.
10. Now that all of the snow piles have finally melted from my yard, I see it in a different light...as something just about to be born. I can feel the same energy percolating inside of myself, too. The gardens will spring to life when they're ready, and I know that my own new beginnings will as well.
To all Toledoans and Midwesterners everywhere...here's to a new season of change! May yours be abundant and joyous.