Yes, once again, the time of year is upon us.

The time has come to throw open the windows and draw back the blinds and let some of the stale winter air out of the house. The time has come time to go down to the basement or dig through the recesses of your closets and break out all of those things like golf clubs, tennis rackets, baseball gloves and barbecue grills that have been put into hibernation and gathered dust during those long winter months.

The time has come to trade snow shovels in for rakes and to peel away the layers of dead leaves that have slowly piled up around the edges of the house. The time has come to sink your hands into the moist Earth and pull up any dead roots and replace them with seedlings that will soon blossom into wondrous things of beauty and delight.

The time has come to wash the salt and other assorted gunk off your car and maybe, while you’re at it, sweep off the porch and wash those windows to let even more sunlight in. The time has come to fold up those bulky woolen sweaters and thick coats that kept you so warm during those winter months and replace them with t-shirts and light jackets. The time has come to stow those heavy winter boots and replace them with sneakers or sandals and to watch the weather report with a sense of anticipation rather than dread.

The time has come to say hello to your neighbors and inquire about their lives instead of focusing only on your own and the time has come to plan summer vacations and picnics and outings and graduations and re-unions and countless other things to do on a warm spring day.

For these reasons and many, many others that I can’t begin to describe, I’ve always looked forward to spring cleaning. This year though, given the recent events that have unfolded, they seem to have taken on a new meaning.

Besides the physical nature of those things I’ve described, I think, that for me, this is the year that a little mental cleansing is in order. A time to pause and reflect on just how lucky I’ve been over the years and how blessed I truly am. I think, that for me, there was a tendency to wallow in whatever I deemed was important at the time and in doing that, I packed a little piece of myself up along the way. I’d liken it to putting things away or storing them for up for the winter season and then forgetting about them. This year, and hopefully in the many more to come, I’d like to get those pieces back and let them see the light of day.

It’s almost like getting reacquainted with an old and dear friend who, though they might have vanished for a long time, they were never really that far away and certainly were never really gone.