Let Spring be Your Reminder of Joy.
Back in February, when a freeze seemed to have settled permanently over much of the country, including most of the South, the prognostications of Punxsutawney Phil (or even Phil’s Georgia friend, General Beauregard Lee) weren’t making headlines on the Emerald Coast. The beauty of living here, besides the sugar-white beaches and welcoming waters, is knowing that spring will always arrive early. It’s a gradual reawakening that announces itself in a certain angle of the sunlight, or a subtle breeze on the skin—no brave little crocuses poking through the snow, announcing in bold purples and yellows that the winter won’t hold, despite what our weather app says.
Spring on the Emerald Coast is a perfect reflection of how we really experience life’s joys. So often, our happiest moments come unannounced and unexplained, washing over us like errant waves that recede as quickly as they come. When I think about The Happiest Days of My Life, I realize that they weren’t—not literally, anyway. What about my wedding day, or the births of my four boys? Those were landmark days indeed. I was thrilled to marry the love of my life. I was ecstatic each time I saw and heard, for the first time, the child who had been growing inside me. But really, those were the crocuses, the colorful harbingers of the real joy to come, washing over me in thousands of subtle waves: my husband taking my hand in his, or catching my eye as we shared a secret joke; one of my boys snuggling up to me for a bedtime story, or singing to himself when he thought I wasn’t hearing. Let spring be your reminder not to wait for life’s landmarks, but to let yourself feel those small moments of joy. Years from now, those are the moments you’ll remember unexpectedly, and your breath will catch in your throat.
Spring is also a time to reflect on the Earth, which provides so many joyful moments. Having lived around water most of my life, I’ve always turned to it for healing and rejuvenation; I derive a special sense of calm in a natural body of water. Others rely on this force of nature for physical healing as well. At our Expo last month, I met a volunteer in his seventies who’d recovered from a heart attack by swimming in the Vortex, a local natural spring in Defuniak. Every day, he swims or scuba dives in 68° water, which has restored his energy and revitalized him.
What would we do without the immense benefits of fresh air and clean bodies of water? Nature provides us with thousands of small ways to make a big change in our lives, and you can learn about them in Natural Awakenings, this month and every month, because every day is Earth Day to us.
Finally, we'd like to thank everyone who volunteered, attended and participated in the Expo. What a joy it was to connect and reconnect in our community of healthy, mindful and inspired people.
Daralyn & Scott Chase