ways to celebrate on the first day of spring
There’s an essay by A. A. Milne, celebrated author of Winnie the Pooh and other tales, which I am reminded of every year as we finally shift seasons from winter and enter spring. It’s a tricky time of year made trickier by the fact that the change in season doesn’t necessarily coincide with a change in the weather. But, as Milne reminds us in his essay titled ‘Daffodils,’ there are spring flowers to look forward to. Milne’s essay is one of my very favorite bits of writing mostly because it is so very cheery and so very true. At the end of the essay, he writes:
“A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up, whether or no the sun be shining outside. Daffodils in a green bowl—and let it snow if it will”
As I photographed this lively green bowl of daffodils for this post, the snow was falling in cotton ball-sized flakes in Brooklyn, but as promised by Milne, mine was a house lit up. Warmer weather can’t be far off now. Here, five simple ways to celebrate the beginning of spring, no fanfare necessary:
1. Most obviously: pluck daffodils. I’m not sure what part of the country you might all be finding yourselves in, but in the Northeast, the daffodils will begin to open any day now. Even with the snow that we had at the beginning of the month, I could still spot green shoots coming up around my neighborhood. If you don’t have a yard of your own filled with the bright yellow trumpets, do like I did and pick up a bunch from the corner store. Daffodils are the cheeriest spring flowers, and they’ll likely be the cheapest ones in the market.
2. Buy a few potted spring bulbs. Fall is really the season for planting bulbs, but in case you forgot to plant yours back in October, you can always take advantage of the springtime to plant bulbs that have been forced inside over winter. I recently spotted snowdrops, muscari, daffodils, and crocuses for sale in pots at my local flower shop. Enjoy the blooms while they last, and then plant the content of the pot in your garden to enjoy for many springs to come!
3. Change your sheets: Spring is the best time of year for deep cleaning. If you don’t have time to do a thorough cleaning on the first day spring, how about just changing your sheets? If you’re anything like me, fresh sheets are like magic-makers for going to sleep happy.
4. Give away a bag of clothes. Pull open those drawers and spend five minutes determining which of your ratty winter long-sleeves you can safely retire. If they’re really ratty, make yourself some new dust rags. If they’re still wearable but somehow not quite right for you anymore, bag them up and bring them to a local donation center. Starting a new season with a lighter load will do you a world of good.
5. Open your windows, even if it’s only for a moment. When I lived in France, I felt like people were always talking about opening the windows to let the air circulate. Back stateside, I go through nearly the whole of winter without letting fresh air into my house. Even if the weather isn’t quite warm enough to merit a whole afternoon of open windows, a few minutes will remind you that open window season is on the way.