Spring Cleaning by Pauline Chandler
If no one had said 'Spring's here! ', if I’d not been able to see the light and the primroses and hear the birds shouting, I'd still have known.
Spring! What a good word for it! Today I sprang out of bed at 6am and, eschewing the usual slorming about in my pjs until after the post’s arrived, sprang through my ablutions and into my clothes. Primped, prepped and ready.
‘What’s got into you?’ asked my partner. ‘Are you going somewhere?’ ‘No,’ I replied. ‘It’s just that I want to be ready. I don’t know what for, I just do.’
|Did he know something we don't know?|
Deep in the limbic Neanderthal recesses of my brain, something stirred, a bright blood compulsion to clean out my nest, and my thoughts and my life, to make all clean, clear and fresh again.
Do you suffer from SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder. Disorder? Really? But, isn't this alteration from low to high spirits, as the year moves from winter to spring and back again, quite a natural thing? I bet diamonds that everyone 'suffered' from SAD at one time. We modern folk have tried to evolve out of our winter listlessness, repressing the impulse to rest and hibernate, before the shake-up of spring. Is that a good thing? If winter ‘depresses’ us, maybe that’s because it should do. Maybe we should acknowledge our instinct to cocoon in the dark. Do you need more rest? How many of you said ‘No!’ Ha! Thought so.
Modern life militates against rest. People who say they're tired, have no energy and want to go to bed early, are thought of as boring, wet blankets, even weak reeds. We don’t ‘convalesce’ after illness any more, either. We just keep flogging ourselves through the storm and drang and look askance at those who can't keep up the pace. ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.’ Mmm.
The remedies for the winter 'blues' are to be more active.We hibernates are exhorted to exercise, get a hobby, yoga, knitting, reading group, do some colouring in (actually I quite like colouring in, so scrub that), socialise, get out and about. Sit in front of a daylight machine. For heaven’s sake. It's counter-productive. Perhaps, that’s the last thing you should do.
In winter, you might need the dark. Maybe we should start a campaign, in support of us resters, with our wonderful stone age inclinations. Yeah!
Today, my own ‘hibernation’ came to an end and, stirred by the return of SPRING (pace the solar eclipse!), I began to spring clean. First comes the de-cluttering. I began with my books. I’ll tell you what survived the purge and what didn’t, next time.
My latest book is a new edition from Cybermouse Books, of ‘Warrior Girl’, a Joan of Arc story set in 15thc. France, during the Hundred Years' War.