This past Sunday marked the first day of spring, or as it is known internationally, the “vernal” equinox, the day when the sun passes over the Earth’s equator and the Northern Hemisphere tilts toward the sun for the next six months. It means longer and warmer days, as everything outside slowly wakes-up from its long winter nap.
We are reminded of a quote from Ernest Hemingway “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”
In one respect Hemingway was right, spring does make us happy. Perhaps it is because of the increase in daylight that spring always brings with it a sense of renewal and optimism. After the cold gray winter, color begins to slowly reemerge and remind us that soon our town will be an oasis of fragrant and beautiful flowers. Even now, the intersection of Post Road and North Maple Street, by the Soldiers and Sailor’s Civil War Monument is awakening with the tiny sprouts of yellow and purple crocuses.
The longer days make it perfect to shake off the winter cobwebs and take a walk. Back in the 1970’s it seemed like we were always taking family walks. Every weekend, every holiday – as long as the weather permitted – whomever was home from school, friends that we could entice, and the family dogs would be loaded into the car, and we would drive to the lake. There was a dirt road that led to a small private beach. We would park off to the side and walk the 2-mile-long road and talk and laugh and hear stories.
On the one hand, I do wonder how we had so much to talk about every weekend back then. But we did and now we grown children share stories about the walks and can even recall some of the conversations. Very quickly, I wonder on the other hand why we no longer take so many walks. The physical benefits are abundantly clear. Perhaps it is because we are all so tethered to our electronic devices or other commitments that it is hard to find the time. But find the time we must.
We are incredibly fortunate in Greenwich because of the number of places where we can walk and explore. The town’s website lists 25 parks from Babcock Preserve to Williams Street Playground. Some are large enough that you can get lost hiking their trails (be careful and look at the trail map) and others afford a place to sit and watch the scenery. Many, if not all, are handicapped accessible.
However, the parks listed on the town website are only the beginning. There is also the Audubon, Greenwich Land Trust, and Treetops State Park on the border with Stamford. All three are resources we should take advantage of, and each offers different experiences throughout the year.
The challenge is to take that first step. And that is exactly what we are going to do. We are going to stop looking down at our devices and look up at the world around us. We are going to gather our family, friends and dogs and head to Tod’s Point this weekend. We are going to talk with one another and listen to one another. We are going to embrace what our town has to offer and celebrate being in the company of one another. We hope to see you out there too!
(Editor’s Note – Tod’s Point is only open to dogs until March 31st and they must be under your control at all times).