How Do You Greet a New Season?

by Belinda Munoz on March 18, 2010


Today, I’m all over the place.


My mostly responsible mind hovered between staying safe on St. Paddy’s day and anticipating tax day (here in the U.S. at least).  I had grand plans of sharing my musings regarding luck and taxes and the vast sea of paradoxes beyond and between.  And then I remembered that April Fool’s day is sandwiched between the two.

I wrote a blog post about how to have a great time.  But then I saw a tweet from my friend Ayo Olaniyan who had just written an awesome post about the same thing.  I had no plans of being a second-rate Ayo as there’s only one Ayo.

I entertained the idea of telling you about a preposterous request I received today concerning advancing the currently stalled climate change bill, and my personal criteria that were met that made me say yes.  But no.  It didn’t feel right.

The mind, my meticulous yet meandering mind, took me all over the map, much of which is predictably not worth the mention.


But the heart. The heart, it seems, has its own mind.  When I looked out the window at the end of the day and saw sailboats in the bay, the gorgeous sun and the cloudless sky, my decisive heart pummeled my wavering mind.  And the tug-o-war was over; clarity achieved.

At least for today.

This intuitive heart led me to confront a law enforcement officer who appeared to have been harassing my homeless friend in front of my house.  He said it was nothing.  My reliable heart didn’t believe him and so I made sure my friend was okay.

This desirous heart felt a twinge as I walked away from the neighborhood bookstore; time had run out before I could browse for a few delicious minutes.

This attached heart swelled as I took a walk in the sunset while I held on to my husband who held my son who held a melting ice cream cone that we all shared.

This breakable yet tough heart led me home, filled with gratitude that I could savor a simple yet special spring night.


Tomorrow, my dutiful mind will again find its place to do productive things.  In the waning winter hours, I, like many others, will be spring cleaning in the traditional sense.  But what about in the un-traditional sense?  Like an internal or symbolic spring cleaning?

I have a few simple ideas I’d like to share:

  1. Delight at the inspiration budding within.
  2. Recall some fond spring break memories.  Or better yet, go on a spring break.
  3. Visualize the winter blues or blockage melting with the muddy slush.
  4. Pack away any figurative winter baggage or unnecessary tools.
  5. Shelve the extra layers literally or figuratively and bask in the warmth of the season.
  6. Picture the shadow of the serpent on the majestic Mayan pyramid in Chichen Itza in Mexico during vernal equinox (March 21).  Or travel there and see for yourself.
  7. See green grass again and appreciate how truly green it is where you are.


Do you have any rituals you practice when winter ends and spring begins?
Do you have adjectives for your heart?  Your mind?
When you’re happy and the heart and mind battle each other out, which one wins?  What about when you’re less than happy?
Have you ever said yes to something when everyone else said no?  Was it the heart or the mind that informed this decision?


In honor of the official start of spring here in the U.S., I will be getting away to a little surfing town, smiling at strangers, laughing about funny things and holding hands instead of blackberrys.  I may or may not have access to the internet.  I’d love for you to leave a comment, and please do, of any length, but I may be slow in responding.

I’d also like to introduce a couple of bloggers I met recently whose work I’ve been enjoying a lot lately.  I hope you’ll click over and read their words when you have a chance.

Meet Eva from Eva Evolving and read her thoughts and reflections on doing your job.

Meet Lauren from Best Relationships Ever.  I love her ideas about the most common relationship mistake.

Meet Rudri from Being Rudri and musings about the rest of us who never get an Oscar moment.

Meet Greg Blencoe from Positive Waves Baby.  He, like me, is big on choice.  Here are his thoughts on the importance of taking full responsibility for everything in your life.


Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” ~Robin Williams

Image by OakleyOriginals

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tony Single March 18, 2010 at 5:00 am

Belinda, I’m glad that I visit this blog. You write about things that strike the right chords in my heart. Yup, I’m a softy. 😛

Now, let’s answer some questions…

Do you have adjectives for your heart?
Yes, but he rejects them all. He does not want to be labelled. But you knew I was going to say that, right?

Your mind?
Cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. It’s not as cool, calm and collected as it likes to think it is. Talk about vain!

When you’re happy and the heart and mind battle each other out, which one wins?
Heart wins out every time, which makes the mind less than happy. Theirs is a fractious relationship.

I think I might leave the other questions for now. It’d be far more interesting to see what others might have to say. 🙂


2 Eva March 18, 2010 at 11:09 am

How do I greet Spring? In Minnesota, the arrival of Spring is almost spiritual! Lots of walks outside, soaking in the warm sun and feeling the breeze on your cheeks. The first bike ride of the year is magical. Usually a little chilly and muddy, but magical. Working in my yard, removing the remaining leaves from Fall, discovering tulip buds and perennials bravely appearing from the ground, feeling the soil in my hands, planning my vegetable garden.

Of course, there are practical things like putting my winter sweaters in storage, washing the windows, etc. But the moments outside – the magic of seeing the tiny buds appear on trees – that is what I savor.

Belinda, thank you for introducing me to your readers! I am honored and humbled.
Enjoy your vacation!


3 Patty - Why Not Start Now? March 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Hi Belinda – I’m greeting spring by walking next to the river each day, eating local asparagus, and taking photos in my garden to prepare for my own “spring is here” post on Monday! But how can I top this? Oh well! I’m also going to the Coast tomorrow. Hmm, are we living parallel lives I wonder? First Joe the Quilter, then this. Must be something in the air.


4 Fr. Michael March 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I am so grateful that spring is coming! My ritual is to just simply spend much more time outside soaking up the warmth and sun. On the first warm spring days, I imagine the winter chill being purged from the air. I definitely notice my mood is brighter and I feel more alive. Yesterday I was in the chapel and I heard birds chirping. I thought, “Goodness, I haven’t heard that in a while.” It was such a great feeling to hear birds chirping in the silence. Welcome spring!
Have a great trip Belinda! Enjoy your time away from your blackberry.


5 Baker March 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Spring is probably my favorite of the seasons. In Arizona, the weather is nothing short of extraordinary. I greet this season with amazing walks by nature usually atop a hill and just sit in meditation in amazing peace just enjoying the trees grass and birds. Very pleasant serene times here.


6 ayo March 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm

hi belinda,
how are you?
thanks for highlighting my post. dont forget to have a good time on your trip
take care


7 Greg Blencoe March 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm


Thanks so much for mentioning the Positive Waves Baby blog and linking to the post on taking full responsibility. I really appreciate it!

Thanks also for once again writing a thought-provoking post.

I must say that I really, really enjoy this time of year. I like the sun and I like warm weather. And though I live in Tennessee where it doesn’t usually get really cold, I still find the warm weather that accompanies spring to be very uplifting. Today it was sunny and the temperature was above 60 degrees, so I was in heaven.

At some point in the next few weeks, I will start running outside at a nearby beautiful park that is right beside the lake. It usually stays warm enough here, so I can run there until late October or early November before returning to do cardio at the gym.

Have a wonderful trip to the little surfing town with your family! Here is my favorite part of your post:

“I will be…holding hands instead of blackberrys.”



8 Tisha March 19, 2010 at 10:12 am

Hi Belinda,
Thanks for sharing your “Mind Map” and reminding us of the simple pleasures inherent in everyday life. Having moved from a most of the time chilly climate (New York) to a most of the time sunny and warm climate (California), I haven’t been experiencing as much of a transition at the start of spring as I used to. But I’m all about clearing clutter, so I always use the start of anything to “clean up” my physical, mental and spiritual act. At the start of spring I usually clean out my file cabinets, box up my sweaters and journal about my intended plans/goals for the summer.
As far as my heart and mind battling it out, my heart ususally wins hands down when I’m both happy and sad. But I’m working on using my head a bit more when I’m not so happy in order to make choices that are more aligned with my spiritual values.
Again, thanks for sharing and have a wonderful, relaxing…and “simple” trip! 🙂


9 Phil - Less Ordinary Living March 19, 2010 at 10:41 am

Belinda –

I greet spring with a joyful and happy heart. It is such a symbolic moment as nature reawakens from the dark days of winter. I rejoice in the light and spend time in the park, soaking in the daffodils and watching clouds race across the sky. I always feel my heart warm when spring rolls around. Thanks for a beautiful and poetic post.



10 Sara March 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

Patty — It’s fun when you get spring fever:~). I love posts that wander into joy and gratitude. The image of you, your husband and your son taking a walk at sunset sharing a melting ice cream cone is a wonderful gift.

I hope you enjoy your spring fling:~)


11 Lauren March 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm


I LOVE your images – you, your son, and husband meandering with a melting ice cream cone! How wonderful. Also, I can just “see” the San Francisco Bay. I used to live in Oakland and we would sail the bay and dock at Tiburon and eat great seafood then spend the night on the boat out at Angel Island. I love it!

A smile crossed my face when I read the heart won. It seems my heart also wins often. I relate because I also have a keen mind that loves to become engrossed in all sorts of interesting details.

Both are wonderful. It’s funny how easy it is to create “hierarchies” of which is better. All are wonderful, I think, in their own right: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

Hey, I happen to live in a cool little southern Cal surfing beach community. I’m wondering if you are going to be near me!

I love your insight and your site. Thank you for recommending me. And have a great springtime joy-filled vacation!



12 Kristen @ Motherese March 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Count me among the many who is delighted that spring has sprung! Here in the American Midwest, we often still have snow on the ground on the vernal equinox, but today we have bright sunshine, temperatures in the 60s, and ever-greening grass. Hallelujah!

I like to celebrate spring by moving my focus back to the outdoors. We tend to hole up during the long, cold winter and the return of warmer weather and the budding of the trees and flowers helps me remember the importance of celebrating the beauty of nature.


13 Tess The Bold Life March 21, 2010 at 9:03 am

Love, love love spring! It’s about new beginnings for me. Birthing…new buds, little chicks, seedlings on their way to becoming plants…my daughter to my grandkids to get ice cream yesterday at the shop on the corner near their home. I thought of that as you shared your story of ice cream and those you love. I love ice cream and spring!


14 Belinda Munoz March 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

@Tony, I’m glad that you visit this blog! I’m always happy to find a fellow softy and your comments and posts always make me smile. Cloudy with a chance of rainstorms — I can relate! Thanks for validating the weather forecast ; – )

@Eva, you’re welcome! I’m really enjoying your blog a lot. I just love that about Minnesotans! I can just picture you, Bob Dylan and Prince on that first bike ride around the many gorgeous lakes!

Thanks for the happy images.

@Patty, I smile at the thought of us living parallel lives! It’s happened more than a few times that I wish there were a Parallel Lives 101 course I could take. I just love the idea of you walking next to a river each day — so much more peaceful than honking away stuck in city traffic. Oh, and I look forward to your Spring post. I’m sure I’m gonna love it. Thanks.

@Fr. Michael, birds chirping — the perfect mood enhancer! Thanks for sharing.

@Baker, I’m lovin’ the idea of meditating on a hill in beautiful Arizona! I gotta try that. Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon.

@Ayo, you’re welcome!

@Greg, you’re welcome! I just love your “100 things about me list”. I’m hoping to learn as much as I can about hydrogen cars before their launch. It’s funny that you bring up running as I’ve also been thinking about getting back into running. It’s so much nicer to do when the sun is shining bright. Thanks for sharing a slice of Tennessee!

@Tisha, ah yes, clearing clutter beyond the material feels so good at the start of a new season. I love that you journal your plans and goals. Everything seems to take on a life (that needs to be nurtured) once we write it down, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing, and I’m happy to share the beauty of mostly-sunny CA with you!

@Phil, that’s beautiful. I can just picture you cloud watching. Thanks for sharing your rituals.

@Sara, spring fever is my kind of fever, too! Thank you.

@Lauren, you’re welcome and thank you! So nice to know that you know all about the beauty of the San Francisco Bay! One summer I worked as a server on a cruise ship here. The bay is pretty awe-inspiring and the sunsets from a ship are some of the best I’ve ever seen. As for the “hierarchies”, you bring up a great point, that they’re all wonderful and definitely worth their day in the spring, so to speak. And I love where you’re located! i haven’t spent as much time as I’d like to in the legendary SoCal surf/beach towns but I hope to do that in the future. I am in a little hippie town called Bolinas in West Marin just an hour north of SF and I have a breathtaking view of the lagoon and the ocean from our cottage. We spent the morning in the beautiful garden where the birds and the buds make time stand still. Pretty groovy!

@Kristen, beautiful! Thanks for sharing the beauty of the American Midwest!

@Tess, I share your enthusiasm for ice cream in the springtime. Thanks for sharing those special moments with your grandkids.


15 Rudri March 22, 2010 at 7:38 am


First, thanks so much for your generous link to my website. Glad to know you are enjoying my musings.

I love springtime. It usually means de-cluttering in my household. Sorting, Donating, Discarding – it is rather cathartic for me.

It is a time of starting fresh and appreciating the beauty that nature has to offer us. Thanks for reminding us not to take it for granted.


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