My husband and I moved to Holland on July 4, 2001 from the Bay area, though I grew up in St. Louis. I remember noting what a beautiful summer night it was as we watched the fireworks from Kollen Park. Fast forward to February, with me 8 months pregnant, and I was less thrilled with Holland. It was always so cloudy! It snowed all the time! This warm weather girl was going crazy!
It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned to make (some) peace with winter. I was reading a parenting magazine and learned about Setsubun, a Japanese holiday on February 3 to welcome the arrival of spring and bring good luck for the New Year (in the lunar calendar, spring begins on February 4). My kids and I threw soybeans outside, yelling the traditional Japanese words to usher in good fortune for the coming year.
Is February 3 (this year it’s actually Feb 2 for the first time in 124 years!) a little early to welcome spring in Michigan? Probably, but it became a bright spot for me nevertheless. Spring IS coming, it always does. Other traditions celebrate this transition as well. The groundhog predicts the coming of spring on February 2. Likewise, the Celtic Feast of Imbolc is celebrated to honor St. Brigid and the coming of spring. Brigid inspires you to honor that which ignites your passions. She is inspiration.
There’s just something about this time of year. Seven years ago was a new awakening, a new beginning as the Pilates in Holland studio was under construction. Pilates in Holland was a whole new vision for Mandy and has become a movement haven for 7 more staff members and countless clients. It’s our community, our sanity, our bright spot.
This February 2, we celebrate reopening the studio after a long series of closures. It feels hopeful, like another new beginning. So take some time today to celebrate. We are here, making it through a tough winter together, and seeing the coming of spring is just as worthy of celebration as greeting the new year.