Lighten Up In Spring
As the gloomy days of winter give way to the sunny days of spring, people everywhere seem to brighten up. People feel more hopeful with the coming of spring-there’s an actual physical reaction to the weather lightening up.
When people are exposed to darkness, such as found in the winter months, they start getting depressed. Exposure to simulated daylight reverses their depression. There is definitely a positive change in mood when spring comes. Spring is a tonic in a very real sense.
Here’s some expressive springtime verse of great poets and writers:
Hard is the herte(heart) that loveth nought In May.
In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
A change in the weather is enough to renew
the world and ourselves.
Autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.
The world’s favorite season is the spring
All things seem possible in May.
Edwin Way Teale
If you want to watch spring spring to life, all you need to do is plant your spring bulbs in the fall. Here’s a bloom list that wll get your spirng off to a flowering start.
February/March: Snowdrop, anemone, crocus, narcissus, species tulips, spring snowflake, trumpet daffodil.
April/May: Grape hyacinth, hyacinth, crown imperial, hybrid tulip, other daffodils, ornamental onion.
Tonics, Teas, and Elixirs
Don’t just spring-clean your house this year, spring-clean your body too. How? With whatever makes you feel good. Find your own spring tonic or try some folk traditions.
The Europeans, for example, specialize in body spring-cleaning rituals once a year in April or May. They select certain foods or herbs and use them to help get winter out of their system. For a whole week they “take” a specific food “remedy.” They consider it spring medication.
In France, artichoke elixirs are taken in the belief that they will help clean out the liver.
In England, people make a traditional pick-me-up drink that is imbibed throughout the first week of spring. It consists of equal amounts of celery juice, beet juice, carrot juice and sarsaparilla.
In America, some recommends a rejuvenating spring herb tea. “We make the tea from burdock root, a few violet leaves, stinging nettles (boiling them removes some of the irritating principle in their leaves), mustard leaves or flower shoots, dandelion leaves, daylily shoots and roots, and wild onions.”
Every spring you can see dandelions. Maudy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, is a day set aside for the tradition of gathering wild greens for a pre-Easter meal.
Dandelions are harvested and used in a springtime salad. One cup of raw dandelion greens provides 1 1/2 times an adult’s Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A. The greens also contain a third of the RDA for vitamin C.