Wake up sleepy bear! Hibernation's over. As of 5:21 p.m. (MDT) on March 20th it's springtime. Spring is a time to plan, a time to plant, and a time for the planet.
The vernal (spring) equinox is an optimistic time of year. The weather is going to get much nicer outside any day now. Keep in mind though, that anyone who has been here for long will have stories about those epic spring snowstorms. You can't count on the weather, but you can count on the seasons.
A time to plan: This is the time to make your plans for the year. New year's always seemed arbitrary. Instead, think now about how you're going to get through next winter.
If you're wondering why that matters, then like most of us, you've become disconnected from the natural cycles of growth and decay that drive our ecosystem.
It's time to reconnect with those cycles. Spring is a time to plant. This column comes with homework. At some point in the next 13 weeks, plant something outside.
It could be anything: a tree or shrub, a plant in the garden, a flower. Planting something makes a powerful statement about caring for the future. This tree will grow tall and be here for future generations. This tomato plant will grow food for us to eat. This flower will make our world more beautiful.
Spring is also a time to reconnect with the planet. Earth Hour is coming up March 26th and there are plenty of ways to celebrate. At 8:30 p.m., turn off the lights and the TV for an hour. Maybe even cut the power to your house. Enjoy dinner by candlelight. Maybe dust off the acoustic instruments sitting in the basement.
Take advantage of the electronic quiet, so rare these days, to spend quality time with people you care about.
Think about your power usage. We take power for granted, and for the most part it's always there for us.
Participating in Earth Hour is a valuable emergency preparedness tool. There's nothing like cutting the power (when you can turn it back on again) to demonstrate how ready you are to deal with an actual power outage. How else will you know whether your furnace and your emergency lights still work.
When the lights come back on, think about what else you could do for the planet. After all, it's the only planet with chocolate. (If you're not a chocolate fan, you can fill in your own blank.)
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