I’ve always loved the word verdant which generally refers to grass and other growing foliage - but which suggests a sort of lushness that feels applicable to humans in their very best stages. The first days of spring have that effect on everything: the possibility of transitioning from a somewhat dormant phase into full bloom. We New Englanders know that dynamic well. January through March are often oppressively cold and we tend to hunker down, trying to stay insulated and away from the elements. What April brings is a pathway back into the world and the promise of more intentional interactions with others. 

There are few things better than feeling the warmth of the sun on your face - it’s not just physical heat but the sense that we’re being coaxed back into life. We’ve had just a few of those welcome days in the past couple of weeks but they make a deep impact, particularly when they’re scarce. To put things in perspective, think back to the first time you tried something you were good at as a kid: the first time you ran fast, or sang on key, or got what you were thinking onto a piece of paper - either through words or through drawing. Those are magical moments, when our perception of ourselves expands - and spring tends to have that same effect on us, even as adults. We move with more ease, we embrace our friends with more affection, we begin to think more of things we want to do, rather than categorizing the things we want to avoid. These days, we can stream television shows anytime we want but old patterns hold true: more people camp out in front of the screen in the colder months. Once the sun lingers past six, seven, and eight o’clock, we tend to live different lives, socializing more and simply being outside to enjoy the longer days. In this, we become verdant as well - thriving and growing, not past our potential but into it. 

I am aware that verdant, in reference to people, usually means naive, bordering on clueless. In Shakespeare’s telling, Cleopatra speaks of her “salad days/When I was green in judgment,” a memory of her younger, more inexperienced years. But I really do think it offers more. As the grass starts to grow and the perennials pop back up, we, too, regenerate. The shop is certainly at its most joyful these days because everything - tablecloths, thick rainbow-hued vases, trays, trivets, and candles - points to gatherings and celebrations. And, in the end, entertaining is as much about welcoming ourselves back into our most exuberant form as it is about ushering others into that same happy space. As the warmer weather takes root, it’s worth considering that we’re, at least on occasion, as miraculous and as resilient as the foliage around us. We just need a little convincing and a whole lot of sunshine.