April 19, 2019
Spring unfurls slowly this April. The greenhouse brims with arugula and spinach as fat heads of rhubarb push up in our garden. The birds gather hungrily around our feeder this morning. The melodious calls of cardinals, bluebirds, and chickadees fill the air. Our stream rages as the snow melts in the woods. Young buds are sprouting everywhere after today’s rain. Soon tulips, peach and cherry blossoms will bloom. Spring - glorious spring - is here. Nature is having a party and celebrating.
Spring is the season related to the Wood Element. Like the new green shoots poking out of the ground, it is tender and flexible but also vibrant and dynamic. Wood is the energy of birth and creation, the rapid growth of plants and trees in the springtime, the powerful urge to push forward into life.
The liver and gallbladder are associated with the Wood Element. These organs are involved with digestion, hormone production, and cleansing our body of toxins. On an emotional and spiritual level they control our planning, decision-making and are linked to our capacity for vision and sense of hope. Spring is the time of year to make plans and take action in your life. The season supports renewed momentum after winter’s pause.
Spring is also time to change from a heavier diet in winter, to a lighter one with fresh greens and sprouts. Dandelion greens, spinach and arugula are good to eat now, as well as fennel, scallions and chives. All of these foods help cleanse the body and support the liver. Eat cruciferous vegetables and exercise regularly to help the liver detoxify. This is a good time of year to renew your commitment to regular exercise.
Spring is a brief season in New England, a time to celebrate life and being alive. All we have is today. Make the most of it.
Brilliant, this day--a young virtuoso of a day.
Morning shadows cut by sharpest scissors,
deft hands. And every prodigy of green--
whether it's ferns or lichen or needles
or impatient points of bud on spindly bushes-greener than ever before.
And the way the conifers
hold new cones to the light for blessing,
a festive rite, and sing the oceanic chant the wind
transcribes for them!
A day that shines in the cold
like a first-prize brass band swinging along the street
of a coal-dusty village, wholly at odds
with the claims of reasonable gloom.
- Denise Levertov