I know spring has sprung when my morning slumber gets shattered by what sounds like a waterfall of ball bearings raining down on the metal vent covers on the roof.
The flickers are back.
I love them, really I do, especially mid-morning or later when they rat-a-tat-tat to each other from the trees in the woods behind my house.
Early-morning Morse code on metal is less thrilling.
They’re kin to the woodpecker and only a few variants live outside of Central and South America. I’m lucky enough to have a Norther Flicker or two living in close proximity.
They’re small but mighty; they’re also effective at getting their message across. Do what you need to do and do it to the best of your ability, I guess.
They show up with the spring equinox, almost to the day. They winter in the warmer climes to the south, lucky birds. But their return, which coincides with the hyacinths and pansies bursting forth in the yard tell me the season has changed. Winter is officially in the rearview mirror.
Historically, I’ve marked it by mentioning it and that’s all. This year, I stepped things up a notch, part of my effort to focus on spirituality. An equinox seems like something you could celebrate.
Adding spiritual celebrations aligns with my goal for this to be the “year of being a good person”. I’ve come to believe that a good life, in addition to including working on the virtues, being aware of death, and living in the moment, includes a more robust spiritual life and practice than my recent history has allowed.
I remain, however, determinedly non-denominational. For me, spirituality is about developing a closer connection to God and to life. To nature and the world. A celebration marking the changing of the seasons and the emerging of spring seemed logical. Spring is an appropriate time to reinvigorate our goals – we can mirror nature’s new growth and development.
I’m going to review my goals for the year and recommit to the steps I want to take. There will be candles, crystals, and conversations with the spirit. I’m enjoying reconnecting with ritual.
Rituals are an aspect of life I’ve neglected. I shouldn’t have; they’re important. Rituals have the power to ground and stabilize us, and keep us focused and purposeful. They can increase our confidence, provide us with a sense of security, alleviate the weight of grief, and even help reduce anxiety. * Plus, mine seem to involve baths, pretty crystals, candles, and the soothing scents of essential oils and how is that not a good thing?
I know at the end of the day, what I do and how I progress is up to me. But stacking the deck in your favour by using ritual and celebration to recommit to your intentions is not a bad game plan.
Do you celebrate the arrival of spring? Do you engage in ritual?