In spring remember our roots in the soil

By Wan Lixin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, March 18, 2015
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In Chinese explanation, chun is interpreted simply as the awakening of insects.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau yesterday announced that spring officially began last Friday — the first day in a five-day sequence when temperatures averaged 10 degrees or more.

But of course, we can also look elsewhere for more persuasive signs of spring. As dwellers in the temperate zone, our sensitivity to seasonal changes is ingrained in our national consciousness, or subconsciousness. While the passage of another year inevitably signifies the deduction of another unit from our lifespan, we are, as a rule, cheered up by the arrival of spring.

The revolution of the season hints at renewal, the chances of making a fresh start, even the illusion of eternity.

We call the biggest holiday in the year the Spring Festival, and at a very early age our children learn to memorize the observation yinian zhiyi zaiyu chun, — "The whole year's work depends on a good start in spring."

In its ancient form, the Chinese character chun (spring) is composed of two parts, with "grass" above, and "sun" below, suggesting the growth of grass under the influence of sun, according to one explanation.

Probably the moon has a part too. Roger Deakin observes in his "Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees" that "In the woods, there is a strong sense of immersion in the dancing shadow play of the leafy depths, and the rise and fall of the sap that proclaims the seasons is nothing less than a tide, and no less influenced by the moon."

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