“Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day” – W. Earl Hall
It seems like the past few weeks the light in the storage cupboard has been flickering. Flickering on the boxes of shorts and summer dresses and their light blanket of fuzzy grey-ish dust. But very soon, on the 27th of March to be precise, we can hope for that flickering bulb to kick itself into action and invite us to reawaken our summer playlists and plans and positivity from their five-month dormant slumber.
The official start of UK summertime.
You can already see the yellow, purple and white of daffodils and crocuses in flower all over campus and on embankments at the sides of roads enhancing our days with colour. The longer light of these days, which has the morning sun shining though curtains, is, you’ll agree, a pleasant alternative to being woken by the sound of rain slashing against the window or knowing blustery winds lurk outside waiting to terrorise our commutes to lectures and seminars. And, of course, we have tiny bursts of budding green beginning to appear at the tips of hedgerows and bushes like sprinkles on a cake alluding to the vibrant green that will soon be widespread.
Why I think something like this article, that draws attention to this new life, is so important is because we have such an awful tendency of taking for granted these things when they are no longer new. So, right now, while they are new and it is easy to do so, realise and emphasise your own gladness in nature and appreciate the unique joy and energy it provides us as a result.
“Spring is when life’s alive in everything” – Christina Rossetti
Oh so conveniently, as I talk about spring-time happiness, the International Day of Happiness has just passed. Although just perhaps this isn’t mere coincidence and the 20th of March was so chosen for its timeliness with spring and the new life it brings…
The spring-time awakening of our environment has been triggered a warm breeze of happiness, noticeable within ourselves and amongst others. This type of day-to-day pleasure, that often feels effortless in the moment but can for many be utterly illusive some days, is known as hedonic happiness. Its partner, eudaimonic happiness, is that of the rather weighty well-being of our goals and contentment in the meaning, value and purpose of our lives.
While the two are of course related, I see hedonic happiness as those small, often uncharted, unpredictable boosts that prove mighty to elevating my daily humdrum and, significantly, can spread between those we interact with.
As a university student I recommend capitalising, wherever possible, on this new season for its offering of hedonic happiness, especially before end of term pressures start to creep in. Whenever there’s the opportunity for a spontaneous spring-time picnic, outdoor study session, or even just a walk, take it, with friends or on your own. Even if that means creating those opportunities by setting out just fifteen minutes earlier to take the round-about scenic way across campus. It will give you an energising lift and lighten your day.
“Spring is the time of plans and projects” – Leo Tosltoy
So, unburdened by layers, and recharged by the sun, join me in embracing the start of UK summertime; finding and creating contentment, gladness, and appreciation in the routine and trying to extend that to others wherever possible.