Lessons from the Spring Equinox

What nature can teach us about survival and resilience.

It's a time of tremendous global uncertainty, but like always, spring has come.

Thursday, March 19 marked the earliest vernal equinox in 124 years, making today the first day of spring.

The dawn of each spring tends to inspire humans to make changes and to invite renewal and rebirth in their lives. In that spirit, it's time to sow seeds that will grow as the weather grows warmer, to turn inwards and clean the dust out of the corners and take the trash out, to open yourself to change.

Spring is a time where the earth performs a miracle, one we tend to take for granted: It grows back after having died completely. Now it's time for us to learn from the crocuses, from the buds on the trees, from the gentle warmth of the sunlight as it pours through our windows. We're part of nature, so we have the ability to grow, too, no matter how long the winter lasts.

There are simple things you can do to practice inviting spring in and to awaken your body to the knowledge that it's here. You might prioritize sitting in the sunlight—perch yourself out on your fire escape or balcony, or even in a ray of sunlight on the edge of your bed—and let the vitamins seep into your face, soothing the deep shadows winter left. You might plant some seeds or scrape the dead leaves off a chair in your backyard, plant yourself there, and let the poems grow out of your fingertips.

Sometimes, growth can look like destruction, but nature has always practiced that rule: "For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone," says Cynthia Occelli. "The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction."

You might begin a garden (who knows, it could come in handy). Plant tomatoes, place herbs on your windows, and consider how growing your own food could become part of your daily rituals. Even the act of weeding can become a way of cleansing your own soul and mind of crowded darknesses, if you approach it with the right mindset.

You might go into the woods, or venture out into a nearby park. Go alone, or with a friend (while keeping six feet apart). You might practice a meditation together—just try it even though it'll feel strange—but focus on the feeling of the earth underneath your feet. Focus on the gentle breeze and the sounds around you. Imagine the sunlight working its way through your head all the way through your body. Imagine yourself being surrounded in an orb of golden light. (For a more detailed explanation of this practice, check out this Earth Meditation ritual).

The vernal equinox is a time of balance, a time when the day and night are equal lengths and the sun and moon are split into balanced halves. It's a time to honor both the darkness and the light as they exist in perfect harmony. In ancient times, spring was associated with the goddess Ostara, who represents fertility, rebirth, and youthful intuition.

There are many magical rituals you can use to honor Ostara, or you can invent your own. Either way, now is the time to look to forces larger than ourselves, to the lessons that the Earth has been trying to teach us, to the things our bodies know innately. What's out there, beyond the walls of the life you built for yourself? We're all about to find out. Of course, spring has been teaching us for all of time.


2018 MLB Preview: Too Cold For Baseball

Baseball essentials for the upcoming season

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

By Adam Vogt

Spring is in the air. It's time to dust off that old mitt and toss the baseball around... Umm, excuse me, no it is not! It's bloody freezing out there. Baseball should NOT be starting for another 3 weeks or so.

Well, my friend, it's starting today. Here is what you need to know:


1) Will the Nationals or Dodgers break through and win a World Series or will the Cubs reclaim their place atop the NL?

The Nats are in the final year of their contract with Bryce Harper before he hits free agency. The Yankees seem to have sewn up their outfield for the next decade or so with the trade for Greek God Giancarlo Stanton (entering year 4 of his 13-year, $325 million contract). So where will the potential $400 million man end up? Will he try to sign with a team closer to his hometown of Las Vegas, say the Dodgers, or will he be a Nat for life? As for the Cubs, their lineup remains stout and while they lost Jake Arrieta to the Phillies, they may have upgraded with Yu Darvish joining the rotation.

2) Will the Yankees hit 300 home runs and get back to the Series?

The current record is 264 clubbed by the 1997 Seattle Mariners. With the addition of Stanton to a lineup that already includes Aaron Judge, the Yankees have two hitters who launched over 50 home runs last season and a young team that's only getting better. Meanwhile, the Rays, Mets, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Royals, and Padres EACH set team records for home runs in 2017. Is this where baseball is headed? The Yankees won 91 games last year finishing two games behind the hated Red Sox, but expect both of these teams to be aiming for the century mark as the Sox also added power in the form of slugger J.D. Martinez.

3) Will Mike Trout get to play in a game that matters again? Will Shohei Ohtani stink at hitting AND pitching?

The Astros are still loaded, possibly upgraded, with the addition of Gerrit Cole to a rotation that includes two Cy Young winners named Verlander and Keuchel. But the Angels signed the offseason's prized free agent, Ohtani, who seeks to be the first regular two-way player (pitcher and hitter) in decades. But with the clutch, loaded Astros in the way, you can't help but wonder if we will get to see Trout on the biggest stage, the World Series, anytime soon.

Key Team Changes:

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