Think of March as a second New Year with resolutions for healing and recovery in our lives.
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There are so many things about March that I love. It signifies the end of winter and the beginning of Spring. And what kid doesn’t love getting out of school during March break and perhaps taking a family vacation in a quest for the sun? It’s the month we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green and holding the fantastical hope that we’ll see little leprechauns having a marvelous time. March 21st was my father’s birthday. My mother used to make the best angel food cake – we all loved it! The symbols of the month reflect new life, new beginnings and good luck. March 20th this year is the Spring Equinox, the day when the hours of night or darkness equals the hours of day or light. A perfectly balanced day – nature’s yin yang. Equinox comes from two Latin words ‘aequalis’ meaning ‘equal’ and ‘noctis’ meaning night. I knew high school Latin would come in handy one day!
This year let’s think of March kind of like a second New Year’s with resolutions for healing and recovery in our lives. It is time to set a new groove for ourselves. It is time to set our sights on healing from the many downs on the roller coaster of life. This past year, two of my best friends with whom I shared many musicals get togethers over the years are no longer with us in this life. Another very close friend moved far away to live with his daughter and enjoy his grandsons. I miss the quality times and frequent jams with them and other kindred spirits. Things are just not the same. Other friends have drifted away, busy with their lives and their families that have continued to grow.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve decided to breathe newness into my being. One of the best ways that I have found to do that is to create personalized ritual.
There are so many ways rituals can improve our lives and shine light on the healing and recovery that is appropriate in our own circumstances. A community ritual that I have found to be uplifting is a potluck jam. It involves sharing a meal with elements brought by each attendee along with sharing talents, time and tunes. People attending are not all musicians, after all an audience is needed and anyone can shake maracas or tambourines! Think about how the elements can be acknowledged in such a gathering. Foods from the Earth sounds of the music symbolic of Air, a bonfire or candles representing the element of Fire and flavored liquids as a nod to Water.
It is so important to attract positive energy into our lives. We can start to do that by living with an attitude of gratitude. Don’t you just love the feeling of peace when all seems right with the world? What a sense of awe we have when we appreciate seeing the first Spring flowers break through the ground – the tulips, the daffodils, the forsythia and the pussy-willows. Such beauty and purity and symbols of hope and happiness. Taking a mindful walk, hike or bike ride through trails observing the waking of plant life and the stirring of the small creatures in the forest. The primal connection to nature, never ceases to make my heart glad. I marvel on those rare occasions when I am blessed to see a couple of deer, a fox or a raccoon cross my path! A fun ritual would be going on a photo hunt for signs of Spring and creating a collage with the discoveries.
A fond memory I have from my childhood, is my mother’s ritual of Spring cleaning. This was a major event. Walls and windows were washed, furniture rearranged, new curtains were sewn and hung, and windows were thrown open to refresh the air. Clutter was cleared, Spring clothes were tried on and winter outfits were packed away. I loved coming home from school to the freshness and newness she created for us. Everything felt so pure, so special. I didn’t understand anything about energy back then, but I felt it. I embraced the freshness of it. There really is such a thing as the excitement of Spring Fever when everything feels more alive and there is a subconscious need to bring the outdoors in and get outdoors as much as possible.
As an adult, I take great joy in creating little life affirming vignettes around my home. A few ceramic bunnies here, a couple of decorated eggs there and a bouquet of fresh flowers arranged as a dining table centerpiece. Cultures around the world do many things to celebrate Spring and recover from the dark days of winter. From water guns at the Thailand Songkran water festival, throwing colored powders in northern India, making breakfast at the Festival of scrambled eggs at dawn in a town in Bosnia, to cheese rolling down Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester, England, people find ways to bring happiness and positivity into their lives.
If you are an early riser, or even if you are not but have some self- discipline, get up to see the sunrise!