Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring Brings Community Celebration, Healing, and Remembrance

by Janine Gates

In downtown Olympia today, community members celebrated the first day of Spring in a variety of ways that offered hope, celebration, healing and remembrance.

Hope and Celebration

Gita Moulton has coordinated an annual bubble blowing event at Percival Landing celebrating the first day of Spring for the last 18 years. Only one year the event did not occur, when the United States bombed Iraq in 2003. She did not feel like celebrating, she says. A flyer for the activity says the event is sponsored by People Who Know We Live In A Great Place.

Today, kids of all ages arrived on Percival Landing bundled up against the cold, not quite Spring-like weather, and used a variety of wands and bubble-making elixirs - all provided - and let their bubbles catch the wind. For some, like former Olympia mayor Bob Jacobs and his family, the event is an annual activity.

Above: Former Olympia mayor Bob Jacobs and his family celebrated Spring today on Percival Landing.

Passers-by are welcomed to participate. Eli Sterling of Procession of the Species, another harbinger of Spring, set up windsocks that added to the celebratory atmosphere of hope for the future.


Another event held nearby, coordinated by the Pacific Northwest Medicine Wheel Ceremony, honored people of all Nations. Participants came forth with their sacred prayers, songs, and dances to heal Mother Earth and warmed themselves by a fire in the center of a ring of dancers, and later enjoyed food and warm beverages.

Above: An alter created to focus prayers and thoughts was provided at Heritage Park by participants of the Pacific Northwest Medicine Wheel Ceremony.


Nearby, in a remembrance of those killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a memorial was set up to represent the desire for peace and reconciliation. The markers, which resemble tombstones, are for the civilians whose deaths have been documented to be a result of the US-led invasion that began March 19, 2003.

Above: Gita Moulton today at Percival Landing. Although Gita says she's ready to pass the bubble wands on to someone else to continue the bubble-blowing tradition, I, for one, urged Gita that Olympia needs her to continue the tradition to help us realize there's always a reason to celebrate the coming of Spring. Thank you Gita!