Spring: The Little Engine That Could

Spring this year has been like the Little Engine That Could, saying, “I think I can, I think I can,” as it stutters and sputters slowly into view. I stop and start like that Little Engine: I want to eat salads but it’s cold enough to go for a stew; I should walk around the track but I’m not sure if I’ll feel my feet; my body is crying out for wheatgrass and my circadian clock is saying “go back to sleep.” My appearance captures the mood: it was freezing this morning when I woke up and now I’m dressed like a well heeled schizophrenic with layers of hoodies and thermal tops to peel off as the day progresses. Still, the kids at the bus stop I pass are all wearing shorts already and, while I think they are crazy, it makes me happy to see them push the season.

And pushing is the answer I’ve decided. Even if it doesn’t feel much like spring yet, I’m going to yoga classes and dreaming of wearing shorts. I’m eating warm spinach salads and lighter meals. I walk around the track and stuff my hands in my pockets to keep warm. Like the trees outside that are still grey and leafless, I take it on faith that my energy is rising and will soon burst forth with new growth and creativity. After all, to the best of my knowledge there has never failed to be a Spring… eventually.

So I do my Qi gong and plan a week long detox. I stop at the Farmer’s Market and keep a sharp eye out for the first fiddle-head ferns — sautéed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, they are a sure sign of the earth’s warming and transformation. I notice that the cats are shedding like crazy and need more brushing — always a reliable indicator that the season is changing — and I watch them chase each other and roll around in a patch of sun in the backyard. Another week or two should do it, I think, and then I’ll go out and roll around with them, too. Then it will really be Spring.

by Cheryl Shainmark
Cheryl Shainmark is a writer, editor, and certified hypnotherapist with a private practice in New York. A long time contributor of articles and book reviews, Cheryl is now a senior editor and a regular columnist at Merlian News. When she is not reading, reviewing, or dreaming about books she can be found playing with cats of all stripes at her quiet country retreat.