"A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that “great wits have short memories:” and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation." - Jonathan Swift, "A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet"

Thursday, February 14, 2013

spring rhythms

I know, it's not really spring yet. I would like it to be spring very much, but...it's not. However, I'm starting to believe better seasons are on the way.

The sun came out today for the first time in ages. This was a good thing. On my way to class this morning through the park, I saw some wildflowers peeping out of the (very soggy) ground. And speaking of sogginess, rain seems to have replaced snow here, and I do love rainy days sometimes. They make way for more wildflowers.

I decided to spend today cleaning, baking, reading, and doing a little yoga. I feel like spring is a time for being restorative, and I have a little extra time this week. The semester has hit the mid-way plateau - we've already struggled up the learning curve of new schedules, new professors, new topics and concepts, but we've yet to start the accelerating slide toward final papers and deadlines. Right now, I'm just moseying along for a while.

And sometimes it's good to give yourself some space, clean up the papers on your desk, glance a few weeks ahead on the calendar, catch up on your sleep, and introduce something new into your routine - a new route to school, a book that's not on a course list, a new recipe, some music you haven't listened to in a while. Over the last few weeks, I've made some changes in my daily schedule, too. For a few days, I tried writing for an hour first thing in the morning. Yesterday and today, I'm not checking the blogs I usually look at in the mornings so I can spend the time reading a novel instead.

It's funny how we all make resolutions to change our lives at New Years - I never really do it because at that time of year, I'm still feeling cozy and wintry and I'm much more ready to curl up right where I am and hibernate than I am to get out and try something new or disrupt my rhythms at all. Spring, though, is a whole other feeling. I don't necessarily feel the need to make an absolute shift, or even to make an official promise, like giving up chocolate for Lent. It's just good sometimes to shake yourself out of habit and see what it feels like to do something another way.

I might be noticing all this more because this is my first full year in a place where it actually gets cold and stays cold through February. I'm appreciating minute rises in temperature and flashes of blue sky SO much more than I would normally. Little changes can make a big difference.

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