EDITO: Spring, an awakening through design

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“Well beyond the unveiling of new potholes and yes, the advent of construction season is also an opportunity for all of us to put a little spring – pun intended – into our step.”

Spring.

Although Sunday, March 20 marked his official day this year, for many the hopeful season has yet to take hold. Good luck, it will be here soon.

The more joyful among us looked past this year’s seemingly endless skiffs of snow each morning over the Easter weekend towards the brightness that still awaits on the other side of winter.

As St. Albert begins this week to wash the sand off our roads, it is also an opportunity for all of us to dispel the emotional darkness that sometimes envelops so many during the coldest season of each year.

Far beyond the unveiling of new potholes and yes, the advent of construction season is also an opportunity for each of us to put a little spring – pun intended – into our approach.

It’s by natural design that we start to feel better at this time of every year, with plenty of science to explain why. Our eyes detect the increase in daylight in the spring, which triggers the pineal gland in our brain, reducing melatonin secretion, which means we become more energetic, with a natural increase in libido, enthusiasm and confidence.

Another gift of the season is the bump of sunlight, and therefore an increase in serotonin, the happiness hormone, and vitamin D.

Our bodies also benefit from a major dopamine hit when the snow and cold melt, triggered by an awakening of our senses: the hot sun; an onslaught of bright colors as each crocus emerges from the moist gardens; the scent of lilacs in full bloom; the joyful morning chirping of birds.

Some of us will celebrate the arrival of spring with a renewal of our homes – cleaning, decluttering, redecorating, painting. It seems impossible not to be surrounded by new growth.

Others – the green thumbs – stare at the thermometers and weather reports, eager to put their hands in the dirt and start planting, and take on the meditative tasks that come with growing and caring for a garden.

Still others will take to the great outdoors to experience the unique smells and sights offered by things warming up, things emerging, in the form of hiking, camping, biking, boating, baseball, football, football, birdwatching, picnics – a host of outdoor activities, all awakened by a tiny bit of spring.

Let’s not forget the return of terrace season and the chance to soak up the sun while sipping coffee over a good book in a café, or enjoying a glass of wine or a beer while visiting friends in a local pub.

As our yards and green spaces come to life, so do our minds.

We are flourishing at this time. It serves us well to embrace the deep offerings of spring and the fresh start they can bring.

Editorials are the consensus view of the editorial board of the St. Albert Gazette.

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