TAMPA (WFLA) – In this week’s Cate’s Corner, Keith Cate talks about the start of spring in Tampa.

Here are his thoughts:

Spring has sprung and pass the Kleenex. Spring officially begins tomorrow but I think we got an early start in Tampa Bay. 

Blooming buds, trees sprouting leaves, and catkin blowing in the breeze. Catkins are those stringy, yellowish, pollen-producing tassels piling up everywhere causing watery eyes and runny noses, a nuisance for everyone except makers of allergy medicines and tissues.       

We get some extra daylight in spring, increasing the release of a hormone in the brain called serotonin, making us feel more focused and happier. 

After a year of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, I could use a mental boost.  This week we learned, 100 million COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered in the U.S. and the worst of the pandemic is behind us. 

But it still lingers… like a plume of pollen… requiring us to pass the Kleenex to dry teary eyes when considering all we’ve lost.  Nearly 33,000 deaths in Florida alone.  But as bad as things have been, spring has the power to rejuvenate. As one writer put it, “No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.”     

Spring is also a time for that centuries-old tradition of deep cleaning. Studies show that can also improve your mood.

I think I’ll start by washing the pollen off my car and work my way inside the house.

But let’s face it, spring cleaning your stuff is easier than spring cleaning your life. This weekend I’m going to work on both.

After all, this is the season of new beginnings. Stay strong, and when needed show compassion and pass the Kleenex.