Spring, 2021. A cold, dark winter. Shut down. Forecasts were dire. Little snow fell. The ground is frozen and the birds begin the call to their plant brothers and sisters to make the effort, to forsake the closed, dark, too familiar cold and emerge – trusting – to the light. Imbolc – the quickening of the year – fell on February 1-2, and the Spring Equinox is March 20. Shake off winter’s hoary locks and arise! Awaken! Make ready! The earth returns, revived….. In our individual bodies and lives it is time to stretch out the loosening of our lymphatic circulations, to open the windows and doors and air out what the liver has stored throughout the root cellars of Winter. Traditionally water or broth fasting is conducted at this time. Alternating heat and sweat with cold water and contraction limbers up the vasculature and the metabolism throughout the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is liver and gall bladder time, a time of detoxification and emergence from sleep; bitter dandelions, pungent radishes and rhubarbs, peppery arugula and like greens. Hippocrates teaches it is time to move bile, and nothing gets the gall bladder draining like bitter greens and tonics (noone said it was easy coming back to life!). Time of Aries, the Ram, manifestor of the New Years creative life force. Pisces, watery, dreamy, yields to Aries abrupt, groundbreaking fire. In the warm and light and sudden liberation it is important to remember to prepare ourselves as earth and sky prepare the ground: a time for strong winds and gentle breezes, drenching rains and drying muds, still spots of sun-warmth and chill nights; graceful action, purposive cleaning, due honor given to the times of rejuvenative darkness. Look around. And pay attention, for now is not only the rebirth of free action and movement but also a time of planting, and of looking clearly forward. Winter’s long, dark and dreamy colds have prepared us for this: let us awaken, unlimber, and prepare our greetings.