Why Spring Brings Hope
Spring is arguably the most profound season when it comes to promise, meaning and inspiration. It is a season of hope -- that things will get better after they were worse. Especially in light of what the world has suffered through the COVID pandemic. The river will "flow again after it was frozen," Ernest Hemingway.
Spring and hope are intricately intertwined in our minds, bodies and souls. In spring, it appears as if nature itself conspires with our biology and psychology to reawaken hope. While it is true that hope does not fizzle away in summer nor wane in autumn neither perish in winter, only spring blossoms a bounty of hope in our hearts.
Spring signifies balance.
After long days of cold and wet season, spring seems to carry increased light and heat which lights up the virtual “spring fever”. The first day of spring is marks the vernal equinox – the first day of balance between daylight and darkness.
Increased light brings added release of serotonin into our bodies, a neurotransmitter responsible for an uplift in our mood and engenders hope. It is also an ingredient found in many antidepressant drugs today. Indirectly, you will find more people out in the parks and garden – more exercise and more gardening.
Just like spring, hope is a 50-50 proposition where our odds are rather even between despair and optimism. And here’s where the scales of hope is tilted when we set our minds to be grateful and begin to believe in ourselves once again. Some call this faith. Aristotle likened hope to a waking dream.
Spring signifies coming out of darkness.
Aside from calling creatures out from hibernation, spring beckons us to reconnect with nature.
Humans often to great lengths to recreate a replica of the green temperate context from which they evolved according to new studies by Environmental Psychology. The effects have been observed from children who attend schools – those that have windows overlooking nature were found to be less aggressive and more attentive in the classroom.
In Anne Frank’s diary, written under an extreme and frightening lockdown, she encouraged us to "go outside, to the country, enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer. Go outside and try to recapture the happiness within yourself; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy."
Spring signifies heading towards light.
The journey of spring is headed towards summer – our bridge to a greater light. While spring softens the earth, inviting us to plant seeds that will be transformed into fruits and flowers, the buds that begin to blossom speaks of a new season and time for our lives.
That is why, as individuals, spring is the perfect time for active individuals to embrace change in their lives.
Spring signifies healing.
Interestingly, there are many stories from history around the world that affirm how a physician’s secret weapon is hope. From France, to Turkey to China, legends recount of various ingenious methods used by physicians in days foregone. For example, the whispering walls where patients would walk through during their stay in the hospitals would tell them that they are well… and remarkably many patients that hear and believe the voices of the walls become well.
There is evidence today that suggests a hopeful attitude has a real and measurable positive impact on health and likewise. “A survey of oncologists revealed that more than 90 percent cited hope as the primary psychological factor that impacts mortality’ Psychology Today.
No doubt, having more Vitamin D as a result of sun exposure, is important to our immune system and bone development. Here’s once again how nature intervenes in bringing us a beautiful healing bask of energy that our bodies and minds embrace.
On a more mental and metaphoric note, spring cleaning is a great time of ridding yourself of things that you don’t need anymore and circumstances that weigh you down. Declutter and simplify your life this spring so you can focus your time and energy on things that bring you true joy.
“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created Spring,” Sir Bernard Williams.