I am writing this post from atop a mountain, where I’m cozy and covered with a blanket while overlooking blue skies and snow-covered grounds. It’s not exactly conducive to thinking about Spring, especially since I’m sipping on Pumpkin Spice hot tea. Yum. Of course, I’m from California, so to those native to this gorgeous mountain, this might be the epitome of Spring.
I’m starting a 5 day Immersion class with Margie Lawson, who offers amazing classes and lectures on improving your writing. And while I could write about 100 posts on what I’ve learned from her, the topic is spring. And since snow makes me think of Snow Angels instead of Daffodils, I decided to delve a little into history. (I’m a geek that way.)
Traditionally, spring has been about rebirth, fertility, reawakening. The ancient Greeks and Romans celebrated Spring along with honoring Dionysus (Greek) or Bacchus (Roman) —the gods of wine. (This season makes so much sense now.) The Greeks held a festival called Anthestreria, which was the precursor to Spring Break in Ft. Louderdale. Girls decked out, guys having drinking contests. Not much has changed in thousands of years.
In England Regency era (where my upcoming book is set), the “Season”–held during Spring and early Summer– was often referred to as the Marriage Market, because it’s when young ladies and lads are brought together to create new marriages. The season was set around the schedule of Parliament and appropriate weather, and yet somehow — it still manages to fall mainly during months of Spring. Basically, a months long celebration where men and women show off? Yup. They stole that idea from the ancient Greeks.
And of course, none of us need a lesson on what Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale looks like. I’ve never been there personally, but there are photos and videos galore to showcase that celebration. And I’m seeing a definite pattern here. The season of fertility, indeed–just with a better tan.
So while spring is about beginning anew, new growth, looking into the future, I find it really ironic that the season maintains a stronghold on tradition. The celebration of life has never really changed. I suppose what they say is true: If you don’t learn your history, you’re doomed to repeat it. But at least we’ll repeat it with wine.