Spring returns to the Northern Hemisphere this weekend. The season is an eternal metaphor for optimism, for hope and light and possibility, and even if the past few years have taught us to moderate our anticipation of seasonal renewal, this year’s equinox feels notable. We’re coming out of a long winter. Fingers crossed, eyes open, hopeful for sunnier days ahead.
Start in the garden. “The sense of positive anticipation we can feel in working with the natural growth force brings with it a sense of purpose and motivation,” says Sue Stuart-Smith, the author of “The Well-Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature.”
If it’s nice enough, you could plan a picnic. Make some milk bread and take your lunch outside. Consider a happy hour, perhaps a kir al fresco, as you marvel at how it’s 7 p.m. and the sun still hasn’t set. If you’re really ambitious, you could reschedule your Omicron-scuttled holiday party. Latkes are still delicious in March.
This week’s books are pretty tempting: A collection of Elena Ferrante’s lectures that the critic Molly Young calls “incandescent.” “True Biz,” Sara Novic’s novel set at a school for the deaf. Or you could do as I have recently and take a walk or a drive while listening to an audiobook. (Patrick Radden Keefe’s narration of his book “Empire of Pain” somehow makes 18 hours go by too quickly.)
If you’re up for a movie, “The Lost City,” a comedy starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Daniel Radcliffe, looks like a hoot. “Standing Up,” the new Netflix series from the creator of “Call My Agent!,” looks good, too.
Avoid doomscrolling. This photo essay featuring the opal capital of the world can help. So can spring cleaning for your brain. And the later sunsets may make it easier to get outside and, with any luck, out of your head this week. Enjoy it. And email me and let me know how it goes.
THE WEEK IN CULTURE
Pad Thai: Forget the wok when making it at home.
Vegetables, for spring: This cauliflower shawarma straddles the seasons.
The maestro: The restaurateur Domenico DeMarco was a link between the cooking of Southern Italy and New York’s corner-slice pizza culture. He died at 85.
Ethics of eating: Take pleasure in meals, but take care to work for a world where everyone has enough to eat, Ligaya Mishan writes in T Magazine.
Murray State vs. St. Peter’s, N.C.A.A. tournament: Murray State is on an incredible run, having won its last 21 games, the longest streak in the country. But the real story here is St. Peter’s, the 15-seed from Jersey City, N.J., that toppled powerhouse Kentucky in the first round, one of the great upsets in tournament history. If St. Peter’s can win again, it’ll be a certified Cinderella. 7:45 Eastern tonight, CBS.