“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens.
March is a transitional time. Cold fingers and the sun warming your back; birdsong and stormy weather; snowdrops peeping through the mud; a Spring dress under your Winter coat. Savour the contradictions and the joy they can bring. Nature’s rebirth is well underway – in spite of unpredictability the mercury is gradually rising and the flowers are in bud. While there’s definitely still a nip in the air, and the odd stormy day to keep us on our toes that bit longer, things are definitely on the up.
Incorporating a little nature into every day is good for the soul. When I’m feeling in a funk, I find changing up my route to work (or daily walk) is a way to subtly shift my mindset by grounding me in my surroundings. A different walk, even in the city, gets you noticing the small seasonal changes. Observe the crocuses in the local park, or the daffodils on the roadside. Spot the first buds and blossoms. It’s a great way to start the day and reminds me that the world keeps turning.
Bring Spring Inside:
I love to bring nature inside at any time of year, but it’s an interior essential in early Spring. Go big – a branch or two of magnolia (responsibly foraged of course) in a big preserving jar – or miniature, with teeny posies of grape hyacinth, snake’s head fritillary and narcissi in bud vases. I try to source locally grown flowers so they are truly seasonal, and to give me ideas for bulbs to plant for next year.
Spring cleaning might be a cliché, but some clichés are true – and that’s certainly the case for Spring decluttering. Just as suddenly as the instinct to nest arrives in Autumn, the urge to Spring clean always gets me at this time of year. I find cleaning quite therapeutic myself, and a good clear-out at the start of the season can be incredibly cathartic. I find the best approach is to tackle one small area each day – a small surface, or a drawer. I often focus on clothes at this time of year as I start to look to my lighter layers. Donate any items you no longer love, and make a wee pile of mending (I always need to do this after Winter) to sew while you listen to an audiobook.
There’s lots to celebrate at this time of year, what with International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday in the UK. It’s the perfect excuse to have a Spring tea party or Sunday lunch, even if just for yourself or your immediate family, with themed, seasonal produce. I like to set the table and go all-out with a theme, such as Italian cuisine or a fondue party. The main highlight for me is decorating the house with Spring props and flowers – eggs, bunnies and lambs are all mandatory in my house.
As the weeks go on, we approach the Spring Equinox – on the 20th March in the Northern Hemisphere this year. This marks the clocks going forward in the UK and the beginning of British Summer Time. Suddenly there’s light into the evening; worth the slightly darker mornings for a wee while at least. I like to do something to mark the occasion, whether that’s making a cake full of Spring flavour or going to the Botanical Gardens. We’re well past the darkest days now, and if that’s not worth celebrating I don’t know what is!