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Town Talk: Spring-Cleaning – The Practice of Self-renewal

Last week, I began to observe the splendid arrival of spring – the dusting of green on the branches, the skyward pokes of delicate daffodils and crocus, the waking chorus of tufted titmice, red-winged blackbirds, and goldfinches, and the peeper’s lingering lullaby.

Spring’s vibrant palette has begun to replace winter’s pale, and Easter time is nigh. But how are we going to approach Easter? To shed light on this question, I began to research the origin of the word “Easter” and gleaned some interesting knowledge. Though some of us conceive of easter in the religious sense, there is a more relatable version.

In an article in Time magazine titled, “This is Where the Word ‘Easter’ Comes From”, the author explores various origins of the word. An explanation germane to today’s Town Talk title stems from the Venerable Bede’s analysis of the holiday. A monk and scholar of literature and astrology, the Venerable Bede explained that the Easter holiday was inspired by the goddess Eostre – the goddess of fertility and renewal. From Bede’s account sprung the idea of spring- cleaning as an abundant act of self-renewal.

As a starting point, I entertained the thought of tapping into reflections on New year’s resolutions, but after most local participants scowled at the thought, I decided that whether you have “resoluted” (or not), it is an optimal time of year to reflect on how each one of us might engage in the act of spring-cleaning as a means of renewing oneself.

The following responses are summations of the reflections offered regarding the spring-cleaning that’s going around our local communities:

One single working mom confessed to being so consumed with raising kids (and working), that she hadn’t seen a doctor in over ten years, so she promised herself to go get a comprehensive checkup to kick start her path of self-improvement; she took the first step and made the appointment! She admitted to neglecting the self over the years, and while she loves taking care of her kids, she realizes how vital it is to rekindle the love for- and relationship with her own self – a part she feels she has lost.

A devoted mother and wife, who initially conveyed that her regimen of self-care is taking care of her responsibilities to her kids and husband, added, “Though it’s always been hard for me to plan things, I would like to spend more time getting to know people”.

Another industrious mom and wife mentioned setting boundaries with people, so that she could enjoy more things that used to make her happy; she stated, “I’ve been feeling suffocated…and really want to get out of my bubble”. She highlighted travel to do that – a learning experience that would help her connect to the world while engaging in her quest towards self-discovery.

On the contrary, a hard-working single dad emphasized his act of self-renewal as spending more time with his daughter and working harder at raising his daughter. He looks forward to making more memories as a result.

After a long reflective pause, a committed business owner, husband and father I interviewed expressed his desire to balance out his current life vis-à-vis furthering his education. While it is something he has pushed into the back of his mind for a time, he seemed keen on reexamining the notion and actively moving forward.

Finally, a smiling server said her spring-cleaning ritual had already started by physically “relocating and ridding myself of toxic people, relationships, and situations in general”. She further voiced, “Good vibes only!”. Amen to that!

The local responses inspired and moved me to self-reflect on my own ambitions for self-renewal. As we spring forward into the Easter season, I hope these offerings encourage you to critically reflect on ways you can abundantly renew your own selves while immersing in the beauty that surrounds you this magnificent time of year.

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