The first day of spring is seventeen days away. After making it through the dreary short month of February, we’re only a few weeks away from the anticipated thaw. The days are already much longer than they were in the depths of December, but even so I find these last days of winter to be the hardest to get through. As a life-long New Englander I enjoy snow and winter activities, but I’m now finding myself craving sunshine and green grass. Fortunately there are many ways to brighten spirits in the midst of winter’s cold and darkness, so here are some ideas to get through the next few weeks.
My favorite late winter activity is working in the greenhouse and high tunnels. Even though the ground outside is snowy, the greenhouse is usually very warm and the smell of potting soil fills the air as I spend time planting seeds that will be moved to the high tunnels in a few weeks.
I also find that going for a walk or a run outside every day helps me stay centered, and the fresh air helps clear my mind and prepare me for many hours indoors doing schoolwork. GreenMAP has snowshoes for students to rent, and they also host day-hikes and telemark ski tutorials. In addition, adventurous students can try ice climbing with qualified student leaders as a way to get outside and explore.
In addition, GMC and Poultney are host to a variety of yoga and dance classes to help people relax, move their bodies, and clear their minds. On campus there are yoga classes, Shakti tribal belly dance, and open dance studios several times per week. In addition, there are other community yoga classes held in the Tiny Theatre, as well as Zumba classes at the St. Raphael Church parish hall.
Finally, the GMC Wellness Center has resources including massage, a full spectrum UV light box, and fantastic counselors who can help ease some of winter’s anxiety and emotional doldrums.
Most GMC students are away on spring break, but here in Poultney snow is falling and the temperature hovers around 30 degrees. I hope some students have the opportunity to go someplace warm, and those that stay in the Northeast at least find the warmth of family and friends. Poultney in the springtime is breathtaking, and I’m eagerly looking forward to the region’s transformation.
Written by: Alison E. Putnam