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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In Like a Lion...Out Like a Lamb

I’ve been thinking of the rituals and symbols we attribute to spring: spring break, spring cleaning, and even “spring forward” for daylight savings time.

Rites of spring at Yale Elementary School in Chicago in the ‘50s came with its own rituals. My fifth grade class was selected to decorate the student hallway bulletin board.

Eagerly armed with scissors, glue, felt and thumbtacks, we created a felt lion and furry lamb covered with cotton balls along with paper cut spring tulips and dandelions to welcome spring to cold Chicago.

It was a major display that everyone walked by, a prime location. We felt appreciated for the“craftsmanship” and creativity of our delightful spring banner. In some aspects, it was the “early seeds” of my marketing career to create eye-catching ads and promotions (little did I know:).

Growing up in Chicago, spring meant coloring Easter eggs and the sugary fun of emptying an Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.

It also meant a new outfit for church, including an Easter bonnet, short, white gloves and black patent leather shoes.

I transitioned from girl to young lady in the spring when I wore my first “nylons,” hosiery with seams, signaling a coming of age similar to a boy going from short pants to trousers.

However, I couldn’t keep the hosiery's back seams straight on my beanstalk legs that seemed to be growing too fast for the rest of me. Nevertheless, I was thrilled to wear them thinking of the glamorous actresses in the movies and magazines posing in their fashionable, elegant stockings.

Spring also meant late winter storms and blustery winds as Chicago's winter belted its last “roar” before it allowed gentle spring rains and plants to come out of their slumber, allowing the new born “lamb” to replace the fierce lion of winter.

Spring is a time of awakening, to shake off winter’s doldrums and allow new growth to emerge. The seasons of our lives imitate these cycles, prompting us to shed our winters for new life.

We are in synch with life’s patterns when we remove our winter coats to embrace the warmth and gentleness of spring’s “lamb.”

When I think back to my grade school display of the felt lion and furry, cotton lamb, it makes me smile and welcome spring once again with a child's delight.

Copyright © Erana Leiken, 2010-2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Lion photo by Jean Scheijen
Easter Eggs photo by Alexandar Iotzov
Toy Sheep photo by Ula Kapala


  1. interesting and entertaining.. I had a smile on my face reading it. Started following