A bunch of dribble about seasons and narrative structure…
It’s the end of April – my favorite time of year, as I’m a cusper-Taurus (not that I put any stock in astrology). I love spring. I love fall, too – the moderate seasons are good to me – but I love spring the most.
To me the seasons are like the parts of a book. Spring is the beginning, when everything is exciting and new – like the exposition at the beginning of a story. Then you get into late June and summer hits and you’re in the thick of it. The temperatures hit triple digits and everything is so intense – extra long days, extra hot air, extra activity all around – like the rising action into the climax of the book, which happens in mid to late September.
Now there’s an argument to be made – and I could be convinced – that because late September is the “climax” of the summer, it’s the best part of the year, but for now, I am so excited about spring that I can’t think about that. Winter is the end. Winter is when you read the last page of the book and you have to go back to the library and find a new book. Then, when you find one, you get to start spring again!
According to these people (evaluate them for yourselves), Spring Cleaning is an ancient tradition in many old world cultures. All I can say for certain is that it’s definitely a thing here in the
good ol’ United States of America Dystopian States of Trump Inc. Better illustrated in this clip:
I digress… the idea behind spring cleaning is that here in the North, we’re cooped-up in our homes for essentially four to six months of the year, depending on where you live.
The cabin-fever struggle is real.
I’ll admit, here in Spokane we got away with a pretty mild winter… until February. That little Puxatawny Phil bastard (PBUH), was pretty much right about the six weeks of winter, but damn, it was all waiting for us in that last six weeks.
Anyway, that shit is over with now. The foot or so of snow that we saw in late February and early March has melted away, and the temps are in the 60s and 70s (Fahrenheit – God save the Empire). That means it’s time to start getting rid of all of the karma that we’ve accumulated over the winter.
Karma? That escalated quickly…
Okay, so a note about Karma. I hate to break it to all of you Malibu Barbies out there, but there’s no such thing as “good” Karma or “bad” Karma. As I’ve learned it, when Hindus typically talk of Karma, it is as a stain on the soul – something that must be cleansed. This is where the power of the Ganges River comes in as a sacred and holy place of cleansing.
So, if we get rid of the “good” and “bad” judgements of Karma, and simply think of it as accumulation, or burden on the soul, and something that must be cleansed or purified, we can begin to see how a cleansing ritual can have a profound effect on our spiritual outlook.
It’s not unique to Hindus.
So many cultures have purification rituals that have been passed down over centuries through tradition and dogma, that it’s hard to keep track of them all. For our purposes here, though, we’ll only look at a couple – that’s right, the easiest ones for an idiotic white American male like me to look at.
Let’s look at Judaism and Christianity (because I’m too lazy to look up info on Islam or Buddhism – even thought I claim to be a Buddhist all the time). In Judaism, it’s Passover. The time when God rewards his chosen people by symbolically delivering them from bondage. It’s a cleansing, transformative holiday.
Then, of course, there’s Easter – which hijacked my birthday this year (not that I’m bitter, or anything, Jesus…) – the day that Christians around the world celebrate as the day that Christ victoriously rose from the dead, conquering both sin and its wages – death – by spending three days in hell after dying a mortal death on the cross at Calvary (Yeah, I’ve read the bible… probably more than you have).
The point is…
The world over, this is a time for renewal, for rebirth, for cleansing, healing, growth, and new beginnings. What can you do this weekend that symbolizes that? It might be as simple as cleaning out the garage… or it might be a few hours in the woods with your dog (that’s what I’m thinking).
I took some time last weekend to go through my clothes and I threw some in a pile to donate. If you’re not feeling up to going out for a walk or anything this weekend (I’m not going to judge you… today. Monday, however…), then do yourself a favor and throw out a few items around the house that aren’t holding a necessary place in your life right now. I’m not saying you have to get rid of everything that isn’t practical, but there is healing power in de-cluttering your possessions. If you live simply and downgrade the number of things you have to manage, there’s great freedom in that.
My challenge for you this weekend is to either 1) find a new outdoor trail to hike or explore, or 2) find at least five items in your home that no longer hold any value to you (you don’t find them useful or pleasing), and donate them to your local thrift store charity.
I’m going to go explore a natural area near my house with Jake, my bestest-good-boye-doggo-in-the-world. I’m also going to drop off a load of clothes at the Goodwill or Arc of Spokane.
Sometimes being fearless means letting go.
Have a great weekend, Brandonians. Please don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t yet, and go to the sign-up page to follow me on all of the social media pages – including Spotify!