When I sat down to write this note for the March issue of ParentMap, I kept gazing out my front window at the slushy retreating remains of our mid-February snowstorm, seeking some source of inspiration as to its message. I wouldn’t say I was feeling particularly glum, but there is something acutely depressing to me about piles of dirty melting snow — nature somehow seems slightly embarrassed in these moments.
As I sat there, a brilliant green Anna’s hummingbird flew right up to me on the other side of the glass, hovering for an exquisite few moments before flitting away. To be so tiny and delicate-looking, yet so hardy — an adorable avian equivalent of the intrepid postal worker, unfazed by the snow, sleet, rain and perma-gray of our drear PNW winter. All of the seasons have their own claims to fame, but spring? Spring owns optimism, and my little hummingbird friend was a heartening reminder of that. As “Hope springs eternal,” so does spring eternally renew hope.
Science confirms that the energy source powering resilience is optimism. If you tend to be a bit of a Gloomy Gus (and it has been hard not to be one these past many pandemic months), the great news is that optimism is not an inherited trait — it can be practiced and learned by people of all ages. So, embrace the reason for the season and seek fresh cause for optimism.
Nature will help in this practice in the coming weeks, as we enjoy longer days, flowers beginning to bloom, more birds chattering about their birdy good news and a plethora of puddles to splash in. Consider our March issue an invitation to fling yourselves wholeheartedly into spring: Look inside to find dozens of ideas for celebrating this most hopeful season, from crafts and holiday activities, safe inside-and-outside play ideas and fun ways to get the kids helping with spring cleaning to planning an epic day at the beach exploring the fascinating marine creatures that live in tide pools.
May your spring adventures buoy your family’s spirits and inspire you to keep looking forward with optimism.