Whether the equinox’s generous hours of sunlight are melting the last inches of snow, giving colorful life to bulbs and trees, or illuminating an evergreen landscape of succulents and conifers, the shift from dark to equal to light is palpable, no matter the climate you call home.
Though we can’t photosynthesize it like our plant allies do, the light of the sun nonetheless feeds us, both physically and mentally. We aren’t yet ready to leap into the hot and fast energy of summer, but rather step one foot toward the warmth as we keep the other firmly grounded in the slow, internal energy of winter– this duality is perfectly aligned with the spiritual meaning of the equinox. It’s a time for seeking balance in all things.
If you’ve been living off of warm soups and stews, keep a favorite on the back burner while you reintroduce your palate to crunchy radishes, carrots and fennel, dressed with nothing but sea salt, citrus and good olive oil. Maybe your daily walks have become short and perfunctory, or nonexistent– if so, take advantage of the afternoon light (which is extended by Daylight Savings as well as by the turning of the year) to stretch your legs and soak up vitamin D– but don’t push your bedtime too far back just yet. Take the snowshoes out on a sunny morning, and then swing by a garden center to shop for seeds in the afternoon. You are living in transition– preparing for the next while savoring the last, letting the two coalesce into a beautifully balanced present.
If the ritual of spring cleaning is floating around your mind, let it call to you, but don’t let it nag. Remember that spring is a season, not a weekend. Storm windows will be removed, rugs will be shaken out, cars will be washed, hearths will be dusted, linens will be swapped, bathtubs will be scrubbed, mountains of pet hair will be vacuumed, snow pants will be washed, mended and handed down and ovens will clean themselves if you push the right buttons. All in good time.
In the Northeast, spring means mud season, so why get on your hands and knees with a bucket of warm soapy water before the ground dries out? Speaking of mud season, keeping a nice looking broom in your most heavily trafficked areas, and a spray bottle of nontoxic floor cleaner nearby, will set you up to spot clean as the tracked-in mud, salt and sand dries on your floors, over and over. We’ve included a favorite recipe for a simple, effective hardwood floor cleaner below. Another DIY solution for mud season is a magical all-natural stain remover: hydrogen peroxide and Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds combine to gently remove most stains, with a bit of elbow grease.
This spring equinox, let the awakening of the earth, and the lengthening of days, lighten your spirit as the mud sucks at your boots. Everything in balance, all in good time.
HARDWOOD FLOOR CLEANER
Mix ¼ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, and 1 cup of water in a bottle with a spray nozzle. Add a few drops of favorite essential oil (we like lemon and clove) and shake well to combine. Spray lightly on the floor and wipe away with a dry cloth.
NATURAL STAIN REMOVER
Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds in a bottle with a spray nozzle. Apply a few squirts to stains, and either scrub or just let sit, depending on the material. Blot with a damp cloth if suds remain. (It’s always a good idea to test a new stain treatment on an inconspicuous piece of fabric first.)
Recipes and words by Laura Motley
By Rudolf Steiner
The Sun with loving light
Makes bright for me each day,
The soul with spirit power
Gives strength unto my limbs,
In sunlight shining clear