An ode to spring

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Whenever we reach a new season, as we have today (praise the lord), I always think to myself, now this - THIS is my favourite. When balmy summer at last surfaces I feel as though I was meant to be walking barefoot on the sand and eating sandwiches by the sea. When autumn arrives and all the leaves turn orange and crisp up and blackberry crumble and pumpkin soup are on the menu, I bask in the comfort of blankets and box sets and cosy nights in. Winter even has its own charm – the freshness, the twinkly lights, the hunkering down are all hugely appealing to a home-body like me. But now it is spring. Wonderful whimsical spring. My favourite time of year (for now).

I slept in late this morning. Didn’t get to bed until gone midnight and woke feeling confused and bleary eyed and already disappointed with my day before it had even begun. But I threw open the curtains and as if on cue, the four inches of snow that fell last week was quite literally melting in front of my eyes.

Now, as I sit on my parent’s sofa in Somerset pretending I’m on a writer’s retreat, I feel as though I’m witnessing the last throes of a wild winter dissolving into streams and trickling away – and I can feel my tension trickling away too. Now daffodils get their time in the sun, blossom adorns every bough and frogs start getting frisky. In spring, the natural world springs to life. And on some level, I think we do too. There’s an innate sense of hopefulness when we see buds start to bloom, when we feel, for the first time in a long time, the sun’s warmth on our skin. When we leave the office at six and it’s still light outside, when we’re out running and feel the need to strip off a jumper.

We shed a layer of clothing and it’s as though a huge weight is lifted. One we didn’t even know was there to start with. Yes, January might mark New Year as we know it – and September might mean a fresh start at school – but spring in all its floral glory represents renewal of the natural world. An often-forgotten realm – but one that is all around us and affects us more than we’ll truly ever know. On this quintessential spring day – as the sun is shining, the snow is ebbing away and there’s a floral freshness in the air – I feel privileged to see the world as it wakes up from its winter slumber, ready to burst into life again – and I think I might just use period of renewal as a timely metaphor for my own existence – because after a much-needed lie-in, I’m ready to burst into life too.

Sarah Barratt