Last weekend was the vernal equinox – the first day of spring. From here until the summer solstice in June, the days will be getting longer. As much as I like to say that I don’t mind winter (particularly because, as a knitter and an exceptionally warm-blooded person, I am rarely cold, but easily overheated), I’m definitely ready for more daylight and the opportunity to ditch my winter coat for a while.
At some point last year, when I started looking into various forms of earth-centered spirituality, I came across the idea of taking the standard pagan “wheel of the year” – marked by the equinoxes, solstices, and four holidays that fall between each, based largely on an agrarian calendar – and create a sacred calendar that speaks to your own life, traditions, and seasons, which may or may not have a lot to do with planting or harvesting. I came up with some ideas for marking the changing seasons, based on a combination of general tradition and things that are important to me. The big thing that came up for springtime was the idea of spring cleaning.
Last year, it seems like most of my spring cleaning happened on an interpersonal level – letting go of toxic relationships and situations that weren’t making my life fuller. This year, the focus feels like it’s shifted to a more literal sort of spring cleaning, the sort where I let go of physical possessions and make an effort to tidy my living space.
To say that I am not particularly tidy would be very kind and quite a bit of an understatement. While I am slowly getting better as I get older, I am fighting years of packrat tendencies, mental illness, and housework-related inertia, and all of this amounts to a lot of good intentions and a frequent lack of follow-through. But, like I said, I’m getting better. I’m learning that I actually to appreciate tidy space, and I do not need clutter to function, and I feel better about myself and the space that I occupy when I take care of myself and that space.
Last weekend, aside from chipping away at the list of weekly housework my partner and I try to keep up with, I tackled two areas in our apartment that I’d been avoiding for months in one case, years in another. While it didn’t hit my conscious radar until after the fact that I was doing this over the equinox, in retrospect it makes a lot of sense – in a lot of ways, the arrival of spring feels like the true beginning of a new year, and I want to start things out right, without a lot of baggage. The cleaning I did last weekend feels like a major step in the right direction. Now I just need to stay motivated!