I mentioned a few weeks ago that my heirloom seed catalog had arrived, and I had dog-eared some pages. If you give a mouse a seed catalog, then you better give her back her garden journal, so she can make plans. If you let her make garden plans, you'll have to roll up your sleeves, because she will also write out her spring cleaning plans, while she's at it. And if she starts with her spring cleaning, then you better put on a sweater because she will open the window for fresh air, whether it is -20 or not.
Early March means winter is losing its lustre, I am halfway through working on my 40 days of no complaining, I have pent-up energy that needs directing and I am aware that in certain parts of Canada, people are already wearing sandals and seeing blooms. I am craving spring, but the scene outside my window is waist-high snowbanks. So, I do what I can: Make garden plans, spring cleaning and project lists. I start getting antsy for something new, after spending the winter looking at the contents inside these four walls. I bought some fresh cilantro this week to both brighten up my kitchen and give our dishes some flavour.
I'd love to know the secret to finding silver linings in a winter season that continues well into March and April. In the meantime, we are dusting, wiping, magic erasing, deep-cleaning and re-arranging. We put away the crib for good and settled Summer into her new big girl bed, sprucing it up with a homemade headboard and re-arranging the room. Joie de vivre. I gave the girls new haircuts this weekend because something new (but free!) provides excitement and energy during an otherwise monotonous-feeling weekend spent dealing with wet, icy weather.
Over the years of having a home, I have found that spring cleaning is both necessary (so dirt and guck don't pile up and become overwhelming) and therapeutic (looking at a clean surface seems to free up space for new ideas, inspiration and perspective). I like cleaning the curtains and re-hanging them to notice they are pleasing to the senses, smelling like lavender and brighter than before. The same thing goes for clearing space in the 'ol noggin. When I de-clutter it by turning off trashy TV (okay, not all, but some), limiting the number of articles I read, and Internet wormholes I follow, there is more room for original thought. I am amazed and surprised to see how many ideas flow through when not interrupted by distractions.
The writers and creatives I admire surely don't spend their free time researching the Kardashian family-OJ Simpson trial connections. So, me neither. Let's open the windows and let the fresh air in. I can hear the first songbirds, and it makes me want to stop and listen. So, I do. And if you give a mouse a birdsong, she just might be inspired to string together a poem. And if she writes a poem, you better give her some pretty paper to record it. And if you give her some pretty paper, she might remember to write a letter to a friend and mail it old school, fulfilling her soul's needs for expression and delighting somebody else on mail day next week.