It is the first nice day of the spring season when we “de-winterize” our yard. It may not seem fun and certainly isn’t glamorous, given how filthy and exhausted I am at the end of the day, but it is so satisfying and transformative. Each year my husband and I, (and now our 9 year old son pitches in), do our best to accomplish a full overhaul of our yard in one day to get it ready for the beautiful weather ahead. This is not to say that it isn’t a constant work in progress, but this is the particular day that I look forward to.
I should start by saying that I do not like the long cold winter. Living in the North East I appreciate experiencing all 4 seasons, but there is nothing that I like about the cold. So every year as the weather slowly gets warmer and the grass gets greener and the trees start to bud, I feel my mood start to shift. As if I am worried that one year the earth is going to forget to change over, I revel in the fact that once again nature does what it does. When a tree that has looked so sad and bare begins to look full and leafy, I know everything is going to be okay…except for the allergies, but I’ll forgive them. The process to beautify starts with getting dirty. We blow old leaves, power wash the months of build-up and pull what remains of the dead plants from the year before, slowly restoring everything back to its natural beauty. Then the gardening begins. Getting your hands in the dirt to plant flowers and flora is such a gratifying feeling and continues to elevate throughout the season.
So few things in life provide such instant gratification, that this day helps me in so many ways. We all work so hard all year long, but often it can feel like you are on a hamster wheel where nothing is ever truly completed. House work, our jobs and our personal obligations are constantly barreling forward, God willing. A task may be completed, but there is always another one waiting right behind the last. But to put in the work and step back and see your efforts, feels like a rebirth. It is why this day feels more like the start of a new year than that of the calendar changing. It is truly “out with the old and in with the new”.
You may not have a yard to transform, but everyone has something that they know will make an instant change, both mentally and physically. It can be the closet that you need to organize, correspondence that you’ve been meaning to write, reviewing your finances and investments, or finally finishing that book you started. Checking an item off your list lets you feel a little better about life. To quote poet Khalil Gibran, “work is love made visible” and it is worth its weight in gold.