When nature resumes her loveliness

There is something about spring that gives me permission to begin again. All the lilies and trees and tulips are saying, “Look! We’re doing it!” and so I join them. 

I start with my external environment: our home. I’m fairly certain I have neglected most basic household cleaning tasks over the past year, so I don’t where to begin. Just start somewhere, I pep talk myself. 

During naptime one afternoon, I wash windows. Spritz spritz, squeak squeak. I erase yogurt smears and jelly swipes, exchanging them for clearer vision. My right hand cramps up, so I switch the towel to my left hand for awhile. Spritz spritz, squeak squeak. 

At Trader Joe’s, I place a bouquet of buttery yellow flowers in the cart. (I quickly move them to the bottom rack so the boys don’t eat them.) When we get home, I cut the stems at an angle and place them in fresh water. Just seeing those flowers posing jauntily in their jar makes me smile. 

I wash the bedding, flip the mattresses, clean the baseboards (some of them). I vacuum and mop, then vacuum again after snack time. I do not wash our curtains because that seems like a waste of time—do other people do this? 

Now that my external environment is somewhat in order, I can focus on the internal transformation that spring asks of me. Spring makes me want to toss out my winter ways of grumbling and shivering. It makes me want to dream new dreams and read new books, make new recipes and find new trails. 

I start waking up before my boys to journal and pray and sip iced coffee. I put books on hold at the library, schedule some playdates, paint my nails Tangerine Tango. I bookmark salad recipes, plant lavender bushes, clean off the red plastic slide in the backyard. I feel like I can breathe a little easier. 

The house is, of course, messy again. The kids tear pieces off our lavender plants, and my tangerine nail polish is starting to chip. I am surprisingly unbothered. Because: 

“The beautiful spring
came, and when
nature resumes her
loveliness, the human
soul is apt to revive


-Harriet Ann Jacobs

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