Spring AheadMarch 19, 2010 Leave a comment
I believe New Years Day ought to be celebrated on the first day of spring. It just doesn’t seem right to start a ‘new’ year in the dead of winter as we do. In fact, prior to 1752 (more or less), most European countries (and their respective colonies) celebrated New Years Day on or about March 25th rather than January 1st. Thus, until New Years Day was shifted to January 1st, one went to bed on March 24th in one year and awoke the next day on March 25th in the next year. Pretty crazy, eh?
That the New Year used to be marked on March 25th makes total sense for a number of reasons, most obviously because the spring is the beginning of the planting season. It is a time to sow the fields and start again.
Well, most folks in our society today aren’t farmers or toilers on the land and so we have understandably become removed from this bit of our shared history. Still, there is something about the first day of spring that tugs at me on a cellular level. It says, “JOY”. It says, “Get out there, man. Begin again. Plant your fields. Take a risk.”
The following passage from “Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior” was first shared with me by IISC‘s Executive Director, Marianne Hughes. I find it more and more relevant with every passing day:
“The way of cowardice is to embed ourselves in a cocoon, in which we perpetuate our habitual patterns. When we are constantly recreating our basic patterns of behavior and thought, we never have to leap into fresh air or onto fresh ground.”
I sometimes wonder if I am up to the challenge of following this wisdom. But today, on the cusp of the vernal equinox, my New Year, I’m ready to give it a try. How about you?
Beautiful, Charlie. I couldn’t agree with you more. Spring smacks of a newness (and renewedness) that January 1st just can’t compete with. It is amazing how differently people show up as soon as they are able to shed a layer, see the light an hour longer into the evening, and hear the birds singing. Here’s to fresh air and fertile ground. Thanks for the invigorating send off into the weekend.
Thank you for the article. Spring does make me feel alive as well, but I don’t agree withe new year beginning in march. When I look out outside and see all the new life I think of “birth” and life doesn’t start with birth it begins in the darkness of the womb. I believe that is why january is a perfect time to begin the year. It is the darkest part of the year and it gives us time to grow in that darkness so that when spring arrives we can spring forth like the beautiful flowers.
Interesting thoughts all around. Spring does give me the urge to wake up and begin again in a way that January doesnt. And, the womb metaphor is an interesting way to think about January as a beginning. Thanks for the good food for thought!
Yes Charlie! I’m with you! Ready to give it a try!!