Spring is my favorite season and even though we welcome this year’s spring equinox with snow-covered ground, there is sunshine and green buds are poking through. Robins are hopping around and I feel excited by the season of new beginnings. Bring some spring indoors and force forsythia with the kids.
Seasons change because of how the Earth orbits the sun and the tilt of its axis, it’s determined by shifting sunlight. Today, the vernal equinox, both night and day are both about the same length of time. In Latin, equinox means “equal night.” Also on the spring equinox, the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west.
A few weeks ago, I cut some forsythia branches from our bramble of winter forsythia bushes. I brought them in to force and today I’m enjoying the yellow spring flowers in full bloom. This is a fun activity to do with children of all ages.
Up close, you can see that the branches that look bare and sleepy are actually full of buds. Since forsythia grow and multiple heartily, it’s okay to allow children old enough to manage clippers to cut some with your guidance. Simply cut branches then clip off any short pieces that would be below the water line of a vase. Then give them a fresh cut at an angle and because they are a woody stem, I also use the shears to cut UP the stem separating it vertically to give more area to absorb water. Another option is to give a fresh cut and then crush the end of the branch with a hammer. (Any kid would love to help with that part!) Then wait a few days and you’ll have spring indoors!
To the left are the plain branches waiting to open. To the right, the blooming branches to enjoy!
I don’t like to throw any away so these in the blue vase are the tiny off shouts that I cut from the large branches. These make great smaller arrangements to put in bathrooms, kids rooms or on your office desk to cheer you!
Every year as long as I can remember I get struck with a severe case of spring fever – I have been known to get giddy with the morning scent of spring, the smell of green and new. I stand, as if on a starting line, perched and ready to pounce with my garden gloves and clippers.
There was one warm morning a week ago, and at the bus stop, I jumped in to breaking off the dead headed stalks from fall and pulling back the woven cover of leaves to get my first happy glimpse at the new sprouts working to burst through the soil. I love spring! The first day of spring is like a holiday to me!
The signs are everywhere: the two neighborhood ladies who walk every morning are back on their route, the robins are filling the trees and bouncing along the patio, and I feel the rush of change within me.
Spring has sprung! (Yes, I know, I’m completely ignoring the frigid temperatures and white outside. I’m an optimist and we’ve turned a corner, we’ve made it through another winter. I’m set and ready to come out of the bundled up hibernation of winter.)
What’s your favorite season? How will you celebrate the spring equinox?