Wander

Begin Again: Spring Equinox

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Writer, Christa Zaro of I Forgot My Mantra, joins us today with a lovely musing, reminding us that seasons, cycles, and natures rhythms play so much a part in the timing of our own blossoming as we wonder and wander through springtime stirrings. Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie recipe is shared at the end for a great pick me up, spring refresher.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
– Anais Nin

I’ve been yearning for spring since the last leaves fell from the scrub oak trees outside my bedroom window. Each fall I notice Utah’s native scrub oaks seem to want to hold on to their leaves longer than the aspens and maples. On the flip side, scrub oaks are one of the latest budding trees in the spring time, sometimes by a whole month. With the passage of the Spring Equinox, we have officially entered into a period of light, growth, and rebirth. I have amazing floor to ceiling windows in my home offering me a Frank Lloyd Wright view of my surroundings– the line between the indoors and outdoors blurred. The city lights don’t compare to the mountain vistas and the greening foothills surrounding my house.

I observe and am attentive to each tree and its growth cycle. First I notice the courageous early growth of golden forsythia, followed by the showy southern blooms of the magnolia tree; the snowflake-like blossoms of the apricot come next, then the heart shaped lilac leaves, the ancient rooted aspen trees, and finally the scrub oaks display their leaves in a modest, utilitarian fashion. They are all fully present, enmeshed in their venerable set of circumstances, and I am in awe of the resilience and infinite cycles of nature.

Spring Equinox is one of two points in the year (the other is the Fall Equinox, September 22) when the sun’s rays shine directly on the equator, producing equal day and night, or, 12 hours of light and dark on both hemispheres. The term equinox translates in Latin to equal (equi) night (nox). In the Northern Hemisphere the Spring Equinox brings light and warmth, while colder temperatures and darkness transcends on the opposite Southern Hemisphere.

Astrologically, the Spring Equinox is also the first day of the astrological zodiac chart, March 21. The chart starts with the Aries sign and marks a time for new beginnings. It’s a time when we breathe life into the seeds that we planted in the winter. It’s a powerful and prophetic period to foster and live out the ideas we nurtured in the winter. Goals will be realized and intentions will be met. This is the time for the glorious blooming of human potential in tandem with the rupturing of the Spring season.

I am sometimes afraid that I haven’t set enough goals, or other times I don’t even have any, and I feel like a failure. Maybe I need to be watered more or tended to or held longer. Maybe I’m not even ready to come out of my shell. The light feels soothing on my body but the dark weather is much more conducive to my writing. I worry about running out of ideas to write about. I worry that I will let myself down. I worry that I am not a writer like other writers I cherish and ponder about. But then I remember that I am like the scrub oak trees outside my window: a little hesitant to come out, and have a bitch of a time letting go at the end.

Once I’ve bloomed I’m out in full regalia, completely present, here. I’m slower than I thought I would be in rising up. It feels pretty good under the covers and I’m really enjoying hot coffee and I’m not ready to switch to iced. I question why I’m even setting deadlines for myself. Who am I to decide when my blossoming will happen, as if I could choose a day to be born? After all, it’s not up to me. The life force of nature and the cosmos, the rhythms of our DNA, and love will swell up to provide everything I need to unbind myself. It’s comforting knowing that eventually I will blossom again regardless of the day or the weather or the circumstance, just like the wondrous trees outside my windows.

I’m feeling a little sluggish after an adventurous spring break spent in Mexico. Why do vacations sometimes not feel like vacation at all? When I’m feeling a need to get spring back into my step, I make batches (and batches) of Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie. Kimberly is an Instagram star and a N.Y. Times best- selling author for her book Radical Beauty (co-written with Deepak Chopra). Upon rising I drink a mug of hot water and lemon followed by 16 oz. of the smoothie. This recipe is filled with fiber and contains over 3 cups of green leafy veggies in every cup. That’s more veggies in one drink than most people consume in a week. It’s live plant nutrition that your body will recognize as energy and life force. I find this smoothie to be revitalizing like Spring, and that’s why I’m sharing it with you. One batch will give you 3-4 additional servings that can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. I recommend placing the extras in mason jars and shaking them up before drinking.

Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

7 cups chopped spinach (about a medium bunch)
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce (about 1 small head)
2 cups cold filtered water
1½ cups chopped celery
1 medium apple, cored and coarsely chopped

 
 

1 medium pear, cored and coarsely chopped
1 medium banana, peeled and cut in thirds
Juice of one whole lemon
1⁄2 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional – stems are okay)
1⁄2 cup minced fresh parsley (optional – stems are okay)

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the spinach, romaine and water in a blender and begin processing on low. Gradually move to higher speeds and blend until smooth. Next, add the celery, apple, and pear, and the cilantro and parsley (if using). Lastly, add the banana, lemon juice and ice (if using), and blend until smooth. Serve at once or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2½- 3 days.

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