Some people make their resolutions at New Year's, feeling it's a fresh start. They vow to tackle all kinds of things they don't like about their current state of affairs or make pledges to themselves to improve their lives, whether it involves their health, wealth, relationships or other personal issues. I personally think New Year's has become an over-commercialized holiday like many others. It has turned into a couple-centric, party-'til-you-drop, live-while-you can event rather than a reflection on years past and a resolve to make positive changes in the years ahead. Why settle for a day, when I can have a season? Give me spring.
For me, spring has always been kind of my New Year's: We go through a cycle of seasons, just as we go through a cycle of life. You wouldn't be looking out the window right now and be thinking it, but spring means hope. It's hope for better weather, when the dregs of winter finally let go and the bitter cold shrugs itself from your shoulders. It is a time when the leaves begin to bud and green begins to appear, when certain birds return and you hear their song again, when you know that whitetail fawns appearing in your yard won't be too far behind. It's when people get serious about clearing out things they don't need or don't use from their houses, wiping down walls and washing windows. They start walking outside again, and children are spotted playing in the park.
You may already have set seeds or are just waiting patiently to see if the bulbs you planted last year are going to come up the way you expected. When those green, green shoots first begin to appear, you feel a sense of triumph as you wait patiently for something, anything, to grow and bloom. One last frost threatening? You just cover it all up and keep waiting, because you know something good is going to come out of all your efforts.
This area has an overwhelmingly Christian population, and so spring also means a sense of spiritual renewal because Jesus rose from the dead, thereby giving people another chance. Another chance - that's all we want. Another chance to smell the sweet fresh air and the green things popping up in the earth, in the woods and in gardens, and a resolve to do better, be better, than we were. So we have spiritual sunshine and actual physical sunshine - pretty good all around, don't you think?
I've often heard the saying that you need something to be, something to do and something to look forward to. So spring is a hopeful time, full of joy and the resolve that life will be just a little better than it was yesterday. I can definitely get on board with that.
- by Victoria Stanish, Editor, The Daily Press