Many Kinds of Spring Cleaning

By Teo Spengler | March 5, 2021
Image by tonda
by Teo Spengler
March 5, 2021

Spring, spring””the season of new beginnings. It is the favorite season of so many of my gardener friends and I completely understand its charm. No matter your age, no matter your stage, nothing beats a new start. As a writer I think of spring as a fresh, clean page waiting to be filled. Like everyone else, I have spring rituals and they range from the traditional to the really weird.

Traditional Spring Rituals

Spring cleaning, anyone? Yup, it’s such a cliché, but that doesn’t stop me for a moment. I clean the house in early spring, one room at a time. 

I think the reason spring cleaning is so popular is that it’s hard to do heavy-duty house cleaning without clearing out your life at the same time. At least, that’s the draw for me. I go through my closets and toss out clothes that don’t fit my body or no longer fit my style. I go through my bookshelf and donate a stack to the free libraries that have popped up around town over the last few years. 

How about the kitchen? Spring often brings health resolutions, so out with food and drink on that year’s “unhealthy” list, out with the Tupperware missing lids, chipped plates, stained tablecloths, and napkins. I scrub the pots and deal with the dripping faucet. All part of spring cleaning.

Spring Health Resolutions

This part of spring rituals deserves a section in and of itself since it involves more than just tossing bad habits. It’s possible to put in a cool-crop garden in San Francisco in spring and it’s one of the things I enjoy most. Clearing the weeds, picking the greens, and tucking the little plants into the ground. 

Planting a garden full of veggies nudges me toward healthy eating in a way nothing else does. Eating better is a big part of spring cleaning for me. I also take stock of where I am in terms of exercise and physical fitness and try to move in the direction of better health without imposing strict new rules for myself. 

Really Weird Spring Flings

I do have a few ways of celebrating spring that may seem curious to others. One is to take a trip to the desert. In California this means heading south from San Francisco toward the Anza Borrego Desert, or sometimes the Mohave. In France, it means heading for the Bardenas Reales.

I have never found anything that wakes up my senses more than spring blooms in the desert. The colors, the hiking to get there, the warm air, and the smells of spring. It is my personal favorite in terms of weird spring flings, and I recommend it to anyone feeling sludgy after a long winter.

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