Life was so serious in 2020, it required so much thinking and patience and understanding. My goal is to feel a little more giddy in 2021, like I’m always just a few hours away from a girls night out. As we turn the corner from a very tough winter, I’m ready to embrace the awakening and growth that come with spring. 

March brings us the first day of spring with the vernal equinox, and the start of new beginnings. This year the spring equinox comes on March 20 at 5:37 a.m. After this date, the Northern Hemisphere begins to tilt more towards the sun, giving us longer days and warming temperatures. And it’s those longer days and warming temperatures that tell the birds to return home and the daffodils to bloom. 

In March we’re supposed to start thinking about planting gardens, and drinking green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. And those are the serious things — if we want to get silly we can add to the calendar National Napping Day on March 15 and National Respect Your Cat Day on March 28. 

As the world prepares to open back up, as we collectively emerge from a dark place, both figuratively and literally, we have work ahead of us. And I believe we have to think big. I don’t want to just return to what was normal. I want us to reinvent normal and work towards something even better. During the pandemic, flaws in the fabric of who we are were revealed, and we have a unique opportunity to choose to do more than just sew patches over the worn spots. It may not be easy for all of us, but I believe good things will come if we all dig in a little. 

In this issue we look at inclusion and diversity and how Carroll County schools are working to ensure every student has the same chances for success. The conversation also explores race and offers insights on how to have the tough conversations required to understand and grow. 

We also contemplate chivalry in this issue, and I’m happy to say that while the term “chivalry” may be dead, I believe that what chivalry ultimately represents is alive and well, although it has evolved. It is the tenets of chivalry — generosity, kindness, protectiveness — that we all need to hold on to, that we need to nurture in our children, that we need to expect of ourselves, on and off social media. 

And while we don’t have to work to embrace summer camp or grow into more socially conscious and aware people in order to attend, we should celebrate that our kids will probably have the opportunity to go to camp this summer! I’m happy to celebrate the small wins. Our annual summer camp list is in this issue, and Carroll County doesn’t disappoint when it comes to offering a slew of really cool, very exciting summer camp options. 

I’ve heard that spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s party!” So I say let’s get on with it — with warmer weather and longer days, with growing better communities, with bringing our businesses back stronger and with getting a little giddy almost every day. What realities have revealed themselves to you this year? 

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