Every year, I feel an urge to do some spring cleaning, and thereby officially heralding the arrival of a favorite season. This year, being cooped up and working at our kitchen island for days now really brought out the spring cleaning spirit, in steroids.
I’m not sure if it was feeling guilty about watching a lot of TV during this shut-in period and wanting to compensate by doing something that made me roll up my sleeves, or the fact that I’ve been using the kitchen as my ersatz office so much that it really did need a good cleaning, or perhaps a sense that, with all of the hand-washing and sanitizing going on in the battle against the coronavirus, a good kitchen cleaning might aid the cause, just a bit. Whatever the reason, I tackled the task of cleaning the kitchen with gusto: scrubbing the sink, the cabinets, the countertops, the stovetop, the oven, and the refrigerator, wiping down our appliances, sweeping the floor, and getting the windows, too. I tried to clean every crack and crevice, and even emptied and wiped down the crumb tray in the toaster.
When I finished I felt good about my efforts, as I always do when I do a household chore. The kitchen looked clean — for now, at least — and I could almost feel Mom’s spirit hovering in the air, nodding approvingly.
The smell of ammonia in the air — sniff! — smells like victory.
This morning we “sprung ahead,” and the temperature actually is above 32 degrees right now. That’s good enough for me: I’m calling it spring.
I don’t care that spring doesn’t officially arrive for two weeks. Equinoxes, vernal or autumnal, are irrelevant at this point. We’re talking basic mental health and crucial attitudinal adjustments. The sunshine today and promise of warmer temperatures this week, which might actually touch the 60s (!) — are good enough for me. In my book, it’s spring.
That’s means it’s time to break out the cleaning supplies and do a little spring cleaning. In our case, that means continuing to attack the boxes and the miscellaneous items that crowd the shelves, put things away into closets and cabinets, and give everything a good wipe down and dusting.
Cleaning isn’t the most exciting activity in the world, but when you call it spring cleaning and hope — fervently, prayerfully, sincerely, with every fiber in your being — that it means a long, awful winter might finally be over, it’s not too bad.
Last night it was warm enough for us to risk sleeping with the bedroom windows scrolled open. By the time this morning rolled around, we were treated to a clean, freshening breeze and the delightful sound of birds singing and chirping to greet the new day.
After a long, cold, seemingly endless winter, I’m not sure which was more welcome, but we were glad to have both of them. When you’re cooped up all winter long, the air in the house grows stale, and a morning breeze that brings in fresh air is as much a part of spring cleaning as a broom or a mop. And during the winter our avian friends are nowhere to be seen — or heard. The return of birds, and their birdsong, gives us hope that springtime is here to stay. It makes me feel like going outside, putting my toes on the cool grass, and letting loose with a chirp or two of my own.