In the waning of the February “Snow Moon” comes the first days of March and the literal march to Spring! Spring arrives March 20th, and this year, this season comes with greater anticipation. Not only has it been a true Winter with plenty of ice, snow, and frigid weather, but it’s also been a Pandemic Winter where isolation has become the norm. My sense is that the coming season will mark the beginning of a return to normalcy. Last year at this time we were still trying to figure out the parameters of a pandemic and what we can and can’t do. Every day was a learning curve to an unwritten script that seemed contrary to our social instincts. But we adapted, made do, and used our creativity individually, as a community and as a country.

But now a new season! The internal bear inside of us is yawning, stretching, waiting to leave our sheltered hibernation. Spring always presents itself as a season of renewal and life. This year it has taken on that with deeper meaning. The presence of a vaccine has given us a sense of hope. The latest reports of associated deaths and cases of COVID-19 are decreasing daily. It is these signs that are encouraging and are such a stark change to the challenges of the past year.

I am also encouraged by the internal work and preparations that happen at this time of year. Although the precautions that we’ve put in place cannot be relaxed, there is still the desire to continue and to prepare. The Village departments are in the throes of developing this coming year’s budget, which includes rekindling old and developing new projects – it’s the moment we map the year ahead. This, of course, includes standard levels of service but some cautious dreaming.

A good example of preparation is the Village’s Comprehensive Master Plan Committee which is beginning the process of reviewing and re-writing the existing plan. A Master Plan is a vision document that a community creates to establish its context as to how it wants to develop, grow, and be.  I’m excited at the prospects and the diverse group of men and women who make up the committee. This is a six-month process which was put on hold at the beginning of the pandemic. So, we begin with a bit more hope after a year of contemplation and some reflection.

Life stirs with anticipation. Maple sap is beginning to run, look closely, buds are forming ever so hesitantly, and under the snow there is the motion of soil and roots. Spring bulbs are awaking and so are we. This has been a serious nap but necessary. Definitely a season of renewal but with the added sense of gratitude for what we’ve accomplished and who we are as a community.