Since I was a child, March 1st meant Spring.
It may not be according to the meteorologists or the farmers or anyone else, but every year in primary school, our teacher gave us an essay to write on March 1st: Spring. We were always told the crows begin building there nests on this day. Looking out the window, I’m not so sure about that. Here in Banff, snow lies on the ground and we are expecting and hoping and praying for more soon. Yet in my heart, it feels like spring. I guess after 30 years of Ireland, their seasons are part of my psyche.
March 1st was also a Thursday and that means Ashtanga Level 1. I love that our teacher often brings us right back, back to basics. Leaving the class, I decided to take ten minutes and sit with a coffee. Reflecting on the season and my practice, I came to seek lightness.
My feet had felt heavy on my mat, every twist of my foot squeaking. I felt a little bloated from a dinner party the previous evening. I was concentrating on plans for the weekend, making timetables to fit in everything I wanted to do. Somehow every so often a heaviness steeps in; I get clogged up with too many crackers and cheese and pizza and lattes, weighing me down, both on the scales and in my reactions. Yoga feels like work, as if gravity was pulling me to the mat from the crown of my head rather than radiating from my breath, deep and slow. I see my time and work to maximise it, struggling to see a way to get everything I want done jammed in. In return, my patience was becoming shorter, my reactions snappier, my face a little more stern.
To be lighter, in mind, body and spirit, seemed a fitting way to embrace Spring.
Spring is the lifting of the heaviness of winter, coming out of hibernation and smiling at the sun. It is about walking a little taller, a little brighter, with ease and effortlessness. Spring is a fresh start, a clean out of the old. It is hopeful, expectful, a time of wonder and newness. It is when the buds start to grow and slowly a shoot peeks out or a daffodil pops its yellow crown above the ground. There is no written plan and yet the birds know to build, seeds know to germinate and grow towards the sun, animals prepare to birth and the sun in the sky stays up each night for a little longer. No deer looks at the clock and worries about the time. No snowbud looks to his left and wonders why his neighbour is a little taller, a little stronger.
They trust in the masterplan, the Higher Power, the turning of the earth, that things will turn as they always do; in God’s own time.
To embrace the wonder of the season is to give over the weight of the day to day slog and follow instead the natural instinct we all have to do what is best for us, a moment at a time, and embrace the lightness of living in the now.