I found this lovely spring poem by Robert McCracken on Amanda’s blog. Amanda describes herself as a domestic goddess in training. (My female side wants to chip in: Aren’t we all, darling?)
Today is the day when bold kites fly,
When cumulus clouds roar across the sky.
When robins return, when children cheer,
When light rain beckons spring to appear.
Today is the day when daffodils bloom,
Which children pick to fill the room,
Today is the day when grasses green,
When leaves burst forth for spring to be seen.
My new neighbours (the ones whose car I accidentally nudged with the gate when I arrived last week) went to see the wild flowers on the West Coast this past weekend. Which led me of course to turn to my trusty friend Flickr. Here’s one from Drum Africa Safaris.
Amanda asks what spring means to us. (Er, P, should I be writing Spring or spring?) Well, I’m a great fan of life, love, sunshine and flowers (who isn’t?) But one association which probably says a lot about me is that my first ever blog-post (over at the old Blogmark), written on the 1st of September 2005, was about suicide. I was feeling glum after I had just missed out on getting into Clinical Psychology Masters and I was also intrigued by a story I read that said that depressed people are more likely to end their own lives in spring rather than in winter. There’s part of me that quite admires the paradox of this. Apparently the rush of energy that spring brings can cause those suffering from depression to take the plunge (if you’ll forgive that expression). (I wanted to add that it might tip them over the edge but well I just added that anyway, didn’t I? Damn impulse control …) Not the happiest thought right at the beginning of spring but the phenomenon of “spring suicides” should make families and friends (and therapists) perhaps a little more aware (and sensitive).
One thing I also realised about spring (and which is common news to more scientifically-literate people) is that the days quickly become a lot lighter. In winter and summer the sun will rise fractionally earlier or later each day (depending on which side of the equinox you are) but in spring and autumn this rapidly changes. The effect on our moods can be quite dramatic (cf. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder) and makes for an interesting change in the therapy room as well. Some patients will decide to go off their medication so that they can lose weight for summer while others will sink deeper into their pits of despair. The signs of life all around them are more confirmation that they, in contrast to everyone else, have that big L on their foreheads for the world to see.
So here’s wishing you Happy Spring to those in the southern hemisphere and Happy Fall to those up north!
Update: P says I should opt for lower case. This post also makes me think I should post on Gallows Humour and whether we should even be laughing at suicide. My instinct is that we can laugh at it (if this comes from a place of respect and empathy) but that this laughter could easily be misconstrued as disrespect. It’s so hard to know whether people are laughing with you or at you.