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The archer pulls back the string and slowly but surely the tension builds until the moment of potential is reached. He then releases the bowstring sending the arrow on its purposeful way.
In this analogy the drawing back of the string with all its potential represents Winter and the actual release, Spring. Winter is the coiled force within the seed, all the processes beneath the soil which will lead in turn to the realised energy of a daffodil flower or a strong upward thrusting stem.
Spring though is so much more than a date in the diary, or a weather forecaster’s convenient definition. Each year has its own rhythm and surprises. Knowing when the seasonal transition actually occurs is as relevant today as it was in our ancestral past. At some level we will all change inside as the seasons wax and wane around us.
So what are the key transformations we might observe during this seasonal passage?
For a start growth in nature increases exponentially in a very short space of time. Lawns become a brighter shade of green and the sunlight begins to take on a warmer shade. As light intensity increases too we celebrate the demise of the dark, depressing winter months (even my solar powered pocket calculator starts working again). Dirt and dust become more visible so we feel the urge to spring clean. Spring-like days become more frequent (usually interspersed with Winter nips to remind us that it is a gradual hand-over). The buds on the trees begin to swell and open. Birdsong can be heard to increase in volume.
It is worth too taking on board that in order to experience the full vigour of spring, the preceding period of lying low represents a time to be still and to recuperate. Without this ‘recharge time’ a full-on Spring surge would be unsustainable. Our arrow would simply fall to the ground at our feet.
What are your favourite observations of this time of year?