This time of the year in my homeland, we hear many people refer to the below poetry:
“Spring sleep knows no dawn,
Birds already sing all around.
Heard the storm pass last night,
Flowers may have fallen to ground.” [my translation]
It is taken from an old Chinese writing, and we often use it as an excuse for our sleepiness in springtime. When someone mentions “spring sleep,” we all nod thinking “say no more, I know what you mean.” The verse is so well-known (I believe we all know it as the first Chinese poetry we learn in school) and the scene depicted in it is so easily imaginable to all of us, it requires no additional words among those who refer to it in conversation.
So you think that, by and large, we all pass springtime the same way?
Maybe we all experience that the spring tunes sung by birds are music to our ears and makes us doze off in the middle of the day without putting up much fight.
Maybe we all experience that the spring lights makes us excited to be more active for no reason and leaves us tired the next day.
Maybe we all experience that the spring storms washing away all the lovely cherry blossoms makes us sombre and want to stay in bed drowning in sorrow.
Well, probably not. Yes, the birds’ songs may sound beautiful to some of our ears and sunlight may get some of us inexplicably excited and storms causing flowers to fall may also cause tears to fall down some of our cheeks. But certainly not all of us – some of us are just not that poetic in everyday life!
Then, what is actually making us sleepy during this time of the year, when we welcome in a new fiscal year, a new stage in life… a new self?
Maybe the things we are hearing for the first time are playing so loud, the first moment of silence we get we fall asleep and never want to wake up again.
Maybe the things we are seeing for the first time are shining so brightly, the first moment of darkness we get we close our eyes and never want to open them again.
Maybe the things we must weather for the first time are hitting us so hard, the first moment of calm we get we want to curl up in bed and never get out again.
Oh, so maybe we are, by and large, passing springtime the same way after all, going through much of the same things. And that’s why “spring sleep” requires no additional words, because we empathize with one another and wish each other good luck with all the things we must face in life.
Oooh, maybe “spring sleep” is a secret code among us to indicate that we are all on the same side. Does it not give you the comfort and courage to wake up?
Rise and shine, sleepyheads – we are all here waiting for the new you!