This post was first published on the Authors Electric website, where I blog every month on the 21st. Just in case you missed it, here it is!
If no one had said it was spring, if I’d not been able to see the primroses and hear the birds shouting at each other, I think I’d have known. Spring! What a good word for it! Today I sprang out of bed at 6am, sprang through my ablutions and into my clothes, eschewing the usual lazing about in my pjs until after the post’s arrived.
‘What’s got into you?’ asked my partner. ‘Are you going somewhere?’
‘No,’ I replied. ‘It’s just that I want to be ready. I don’t know what for, I just do.’ Deep in the limbic Neanderthal recesses of my brain, something stirred, a blood impulsion to clean out my nest, and my thoughts and my life, to make all clean, bright and fresh again.
Do you suffer from the winter blues? I bet diamonds that everyone did at one time. We’ve tried to evolve out of it, that impulse to rest and hibernate, in winter, before the stirring of spring.
If winter ‘depresses’ us, maybe that’s because it should do. Maybe we should acknowledge our instinct to cocoon during the dark days. Do you need more rest? How many of us can honestly answer ‘No!’
Modern life militates against rest. It’s become boring to say that you’re tired, have no energy and want to go to bed early. We don’t ‘convalesce’ after illness any more, either. Just keep flogging ourselves through the rush and whirl of the days, looking askance at those who are not ‘up for it.’ ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.’ Mmm.
Your impulse to hibernate can even be ‘diagnosed’ as a disorder. You’re ‘suffering’ from SAD, which is unhealthy, so you need to exercise, get hobbies, socialise, get out and about. Sit in front of a daylight machine. For heaven’s sake. That’s the last thing you should do. You need the dark. Maybe we should have a new campaign, in support of hibernators, we celebrators of rest, with our wonderful stone age inclinations. Yeah!
So, today, my own ‘hibernation’ came to an end and stirred by the return of warmth and light (pace the solar eclipse!) I began to spring clean. First comes the de-cluttering and I began with my books. I’ll tell you what survived the purge and what didn’t, next time.