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Spring is a State of Mind


Spring is a State of Mind

by Marlaina Donato

Every year, spring lifts us from lethargy, her blossomed enthusiasm nudging us to take down the curtains for an annual wash, clean out the closets, and plot this year’s garden. If we pause and listen carefully, we can also hear an invitation to shake off the winters of our lives—the failures, aborted plans and could-have-beens.

All of life depends upon nature’s green ambition, yet we tend to take it for granted, not unlike the faint whisper of discontent that hints at the need for change. In the darkness of our fear-based comfort zones, there is a thwarted impulse to take that class at the community center, plant new ideas or try our hand at something new.
“I’m too old,” we proclaim. “I can’t do that,” we assume. “They’ll think I’m crazy,” we say. But spring begs to differ. The most delicious possibilities are those that give us stage-fright butterflies in the belly and wake us up at night with the nagging question, “What if?” Perhaps, if the caterpillar could foresee its winged destiny, it would be too overcome with self-doubt to even begin. Author Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

As April puts on a new playlist of birdsong and our gardens remind us how to grow one inch at a time, we can make a point to wear that colorful shirt, begin the first chapter of a long overdue memoir or decide that we are deserving to fall madly, happily in love. For today, make an appointment with delight and put fresh flowers on the desk, walk barefoot after the rain or simply try on a new perspective. If we tune out the naysayer in our brains, we might even hear loved ones cheering us on. Spring, in all her punctual glory, teaches us the vital necessity to court our passions, and there is no better time than now.

Marlaina Donato is an author, composer and visionary painter. Connect at WildflowerLady.com.

Nature Apps to Learn By

Audubon Guide: Search a field guide to 800 species of birds found in North America with tips on places to find them (Audubon.org/app).

Picture Insect: Identify thousands of different insects and learn about them using this entomologist in a pocket (PictureInsect.com).

Picture Mushroom: Identify thousands of different mushrooms using a smartphone (PictureMushroom.com).

PlantNet: Identify wild plants by posting photos. Images are compared to thousands of images from throughout the world in a database (PlantNet.org).

Seek by iNaturalist: Seek uses data submitted to iNaturalist to show suggestions for species nearby, but unlike iNaturalist, findings made with Seek will not be shared publicly, making it safe for children to use. Users can earn badges as they discover wildlife (iNaturalist.org/pages/seek_app).

TrailLink: Search a database of more than 40,000 miles of trails in the U.S. and download trail maps on a smartphone (TrailLink.com).

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