We no longer need to hold onto the hope we embraced throughout the winter.
Spring is finally here. We excitedly listen to hear the chirping of the birds during breakfast. The kids trade their sleds for scooters, get out bikes and blow bubbles. There is still a chill in the air, but we venture out for walks on paths that were covered with snow just one week ago.
Piles of snow still remain but patches of grass are now visible. We are starting to see plants we knew were there, somewhere, beneath the frozen ground. We search for sprouts, discover tiny buds on the tips of branches, marvel at a slender blade of grass breaking through clumps of heavy earth. Birds are nesting. We crouch down to study seedlings and peek up to see hatchlings. There is new life everywhere we turn.
Hope surrounds us.
This is a time of beginnings.
We are being offered a fresh start. Spring cleaning removes dust, dirt, and clutter from our homes. The debris that has accumulated over the cold months can be swept away, leaving an inviting space. Our external environment affects our internal one. In this way, we are helping clear our minds as well.
This is a time of balance.
On the equinox, day and night are of equal length as the sun crosses the equator. Today, we experience the same amount of darkness and light—outside and within ourselves. Take a moment to meditate, to reset. Adjust any imbalances you feel.
Bring ideas out into the open. Breathe life into them. Write. Paint. Take up a sport. Begin that project you’ve been talking about for months (or years). Rejuvenate yourself. Watch the world around you grow, and allow your dreams to grow with them.
In many cultures, past and present, this day is a promise of release from the dreary darkness and bitter cold of winter. Beneath the frozen earth, life stirs. This midwinter celebration, halfway between the first day of winter and the first day of spring, gives us hope.
Like watching your children grow, you look up one morning and say, “When did you get so tall?” Those extra minutes of sunlight each day since the Winter Solstice have accumulated. Lift your eyes, look around, become aware of the light. The lengthening of days is a slow process—but the change is now noticeable.
The guilt of what we did “wrong” last year and the pressure to make resolutions to better ourselves is associated with the New Year.
This first day of February offers a fresh start. It is about new beginnings. It brings knowledge that the seeds we planted are deep within—there is life underneath the frost and snow. These plants will soon break through the soil, reaching and growing.
Trust that there is life in the darkness and there you will find hope.
Where there is darkness, find the light. Where there is cold, find the warmth.