This Sunday, March 20th, marks the spring or vernal equinox. Here in the Pacific Northwest, that means the days are getting longer, and daylight takes over the darkness.
In many cultures, the spring equinox is observed as the start of the New Year. It only makes sense. Birds are nesting and starting families. Trees are leafing out. It’s a time of rebirth, regrowth and new beginnings.
Some creative types believe that the natural rhythm of this time of year – the increasing warmth of the sun and the equal length of day and night – actually gives us more energy to create. It’s a perfect time, they say, to plant metaphorical seeds as well as real ones.
As a gardener and a writer, I love that idea. But something I sometimes forget is that seeds need time and the right conditions to sprout. Some require a cold stretch before the warmth nudges them to shoot out, while others want only heat to emerge. Creative ideas seem to be the same. While some come on quickly, in the heat of the moment, most creative ideas require a bit of percolating before they’re ready to germinate. And then, once those ideas do sprout, they need careful tending.
Right now, I’m tending metaphorical seeds (of a book) I planted a while back. This particular story has been a struggle but I’m hoping that if I prune and shape and carefully tend it, it will flourish in the same way a plant damaged by winter wind and cold comes back. And as I do that, I’m also planting some new creative seeds to tend over the coming months.
Because who can resist the promise of new beginnings? Happy spring, everybody.