I think about the seasons a lot. How the life of summer dances with the life of winter. How different the dance is, depending on who is leading!
Today is the spring equinox. Summer is definitely cutting in on winter’s dance; breathing new energy into the air and the earth, delighting us with warmth in the daytime and light in the evening. Winter still rules but her reign is ebbing away. As always, she will bow out gracefully, but not quite yet; the trees are bare, the ground hard and often she will call us back to rest. Don’t resist her call.
The seasons teach us everything about powerful transformation. If you are reading this you are interested in changing your life in someway. The seasons role model how to do it, but we have disconnected from their way. Mostly we resist their way; we favour one season without truly appreciating the role that each has to play.
Many of us obsess to only be like that most favoured season of summer: vibrant, seemingly carefree and productive. But truly enjoying the fruits of summer is impossible if we don’t appreciate the magic of each season. If we resist one season we resist them all. Can you accept each season and surrender to its work in your life? Which season do you resist most? Which do you crave most?
Without the destruction and decay of autumn there would be no space cleared, no bareness to allow the plants and earth to rest. With the space created there is fertile land in which to plant new seeds, with deep rest there is recuperation and there is space to dream new dreams. This is winter.
From these deep dreams we don’t want to be rudely awaken into action, no we are gently roused by spring; playful and nurturing, still allowing us the rest when we need it, she is summer’s forebearer and this is the time of building strength, gaining the skills and resources to be ready for summer.
And when summer comes, it is true she is the most glorious season; joyful, abundant and life giving. The flowers bloom, dreams become manifest and there is energy enough for our work at full strength, to celebrate, play, lie in the sun and do it all again the next day. Summer can do it all. But not without her sister seasons. And even while she is in bloom, winter begins to dance again, she shakes the fruit down from the trees with her winds.
Yes winter interrupts the party and it is done with wisdom, with a loving and protective aim. We’d burn out if we stayed in summer for too long so she gradually invites back to rest. But not before we harvest and enjoy the fruits of the summer. Gentle autumn days can be lazily enjoyed in the warmth, but eventually they will turn to wet and wild afternoons as winter strips away the deadwood that bore the fruit. Then we return to rest and make space for new dreams that build on the achievements of summer.
Without the entire cycle there is not new, expansive growth each year.
While they might seem just like poetic metaphors, these are the truths that all our lives live by. Not exclusively though, sometimes freak weather comes in and changes things in one fell swoop. If we are fortunate, our change is gradual like the seasons, if we use the process then we don’t need a storm to clear the debris from our lives.
For me, the most pertinent lesson of the seasons is patience. It doesn’t happen over night. The transition is gradual but the transformation is incredible. Sometimes it is one step forwards, then two steps back. Ever noticed that in your own life?
Resist the temptation to berate the pattern. Why bemoan the wintry spring days for not being as warm as the summery ones. It is just the dance. Each day as precious as the last. Perhaps you have warmer and more energized days, where you “achieve” more and somehow those days feel more worthwhile. Are you missing the worth of the more wintry days? Can you surrender to the season? To the stage of the cycle?
I often wonder whether if we all lived more seasonally all year round, if we ebbed and flowed with the seasons, rather pushed for constant high productivity, whether we would be more content, happier, healthier? And give the planet’s seasons more chance to be themselves too. For the unseasonal weather is all of our own creation.
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