The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

March 1, 2014

Longing for the freshness of spring

We won’t forget the new words “Polar Vortex,” for quite some time. Most of January and February we lived in near-hibernation. When we weren’t shoveling our walks, de-icing our windshields or fixing our pipes, we were grocery shopping and preparing for the next big one. Assuredly, I don’t want to live any further north than I already do.

We could sit here and lament about the horrible, long winter that we recently endured, resulting in a brutal case of cabin fever. Or, we can simply rejoice in the fact that we live in Indiana, not North Dakota, and that spring is finally just around the corner.

Springtime brings that breath of fresh air we haven’t had since at least October, it seems. I miss the daffodils and smell of fresh grass as it greens. Our moods are sure to soon swing in a more positive direction. We are infected by the exuberance, as the days get longer and temperatures finally are beginning to climb.

I’ve been doing some research. Scientists actually believe that Spring Fever is more than just a colloquialism. Some believe it is related to hormonal changes in our bodies.

In the depths of winter, it seems our bodies secrete high levels of melatonin, or the hormone that governs our sleep-wake cycles. In the spring, more daylight outside signals our brains to stop releasing so much melatonin, and as it drops off, we are awake more. And, in the meantime, another chemical, serotonin begins to release at a faster pace. Serotonin is a mood-elevator, which can be the cause of our vigor and enthusiasm.

I don’t really care if “Spring Fever” is simply an idiom, or if it’s scientifically related to my inner-being and related to my hormones. All I know for sure is that I am ready for spring. Bring it!

When Melody Brunson is not putting out magazines, newspapers and rearing children, she enjoys baking cinnamon rolls for the newsroom.

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