Waking Up From Hibernation
by Holly Varni
May 2, 2013

The people of Moonberry Lake are waking up from winter hibernation. Not physically like bears, but they still must shake off that feeling of being burrowed away for so many months. Emerging from the cozy comfort of your dwelling into the new season takes adjustment. The bright sunshine causes one to squint like a mole in the daylight. You walk more sure footed now that the ground is no longer icy.

The heavy winter coat that has bundled and protected you from certain death is returned to the far reaches of the hall closet, along with boots and mismatched mitten being thrown into dark corners.

Windows that have been shut and sealed for months are opened to allow a blast of spring air to filter into the stale rooms. Meals no longer consist of heavy soups and hearty foods that help “insulate” and give you warmth. That perpetual chill that makes your shoulders fold in and your body crunch down a couple inches, dissipates with the snow.

You stand taller and people do a double-take when passing, wondering if you’ve grown from the extra sleep. You slip on a spring jacket and feel twelve pounds lighter, even believing that you look svelte.

Winter gives rest to body and soul. The weather provides guilt free permission to stay inside and lumber. Conserving energy is good. You remember from childhood, someone telling you that the combination of exertion and cold could kill you, and you’ve never forgotten that wise warning.

In a world that pushes you to multitask and run constantly, winter challenges that idea. The pause button is pushed and things are prioritized.  You ask yourself, “Do I really need to go out in this weather?” Simple luxuries such as a warm bed take on importance. Buried beneath blankets, you sleep soundly and reaffirm that life is good.

Waking up from hibernation isn’t always easy. Some emerge revitalized and even inspired enough to exercise that extra “padding” off.  Others are like Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog and simply want to sleep for another six weeks.  The change for many makes them feel a little loopy. They become drunk on the sunlight and with chemical levels that haven’t balanced out, begin “spring cleaning” with the enthusiasm of the Energizer Bunny. The longer hours of light, provide bursts of energy that explode randomly and organizing things like a sock drawer carries a thrill.

This is true for people who don’t live in snow country as well. Winter is winter, wherever you are. As the season changes, so does our state of mind. We become worker bees buzzing around listing all the jobs and chores that have been put off for months.

For those of us who like a slower pace of life, waking up from hibernation is bittersweet.  It is with slow reluctance that we open our eyes to the work ahead, the mess of the yard, the clutter in the house. That long winter rest is officially over.

Post hibernation is also about reconnecting with people and the world. Clear skies and warmer weather stirs that desire within us to re-establish a community. Our greetings to neighbors are more enthusiastic.  We smile for no reason other than it’s a nice day. Trips to the grocery store take longer because of the time we take to visit with familiar faces. We buy beautiful new plants to put inside the house because it’s still premature for the outdoors, but we’re too excited to wait any longer. And every time we pass the vision of greenery, a fireworks display of endorphins goes off in our brain. It’s a new season.

The people of Moonberry Lake have begun milling around Main Street reacquainting themselves with one another. The local newspaper, The Town Times, is buzzing with news that I can’t wait to share with you on Monday.

Welcome back from hibernation!