Column: Here comes the sun….

After three years of living in Canada, I’ve decided that spring is my favourite season.

This deep affinity for all things bright and sunny emerged for two main reasons.

First, I’ve discovered spring to be the perfect time for renewal. Once March rolls around, I do my own version of spring cleaning: I get rid of junk that has piled up in my room, I take expired food out of the pantry and I try to fix things and relationships that need repair.

People do their own versions of spring cleaning in different ways. Last week, all in one afternoon, I saw a man cleaning out his car with all four doors open, a woman washing the windows on her front porch, and people in track suits jogging at 7 p.m. Some people re-organize their closets; winter gear gets stashed away until next year and T-shirts and sandals come out of hiding. I re-organize my life.

In the chaos of everyday living, sometimes my schedule doesn’t permit me to sit back and think. I realize that I’ve zoomed through most days and whether it’s because I’m running from one appointment to the next or spending too much time on chores, I start to feel strangled and strangely alone.

That’s when I start praying that the weatherman will forecast a perfect spring day.

When the sun shines high in the sky and the breeze starts to pick up, a reckless feeling of abandonment surges through me and makes me want to ditch work altogether. The idea of an entire afternoon spent lounging outdoors becomes rejuvenating. The scent of fresh flowers entices me to go sit on a park bench and enjoy a leisurely lunch, preferably with a friend who’s in just as dire a need for a break from their routine. Doing something as small as this, I think, has the potential to make a big difference in the outcome of someone’s day.

Perhaps the second reason I’m so attached to spring is because I first arrived in Canada in early May. I remember it well because the peak spring season introduced me to dozens of allergies that I never knew I had. Coming from the Philippines, spring signified a new start to the scheme of things. It presented a big spring forward for my family and an even larger leap for myself. I discovered that I had to learn how to do things on my own, fast.

I found the spring season fascinating. One of the first things my parents did was take me and my sisters out to a botanical garden and several waterfront parks; although green leafy plants weren’t foreign to me, 15 different varieties of blooming roses and yachts floating lazily on the horizon were.

Spring might not have the same significance for everyone. But whether you’re a busy professional worrying about your mortgage or a grandparent caring for a six-year-old, doesn’t the idea of spring just stir up a certain amount of happiness in you?

I’m trying to find the perfect way to sum up the feeling that spring elicits in me, but I think I may be out of words. What I do know is that amid the everyday stress of getting to work and picking up kids from school and making dinner, everyone gets a little lost.

Spring might just be the perfect time to hit that restart button.