Heeding the Season of life


I grew up in Seattle Washington, a lush rainy city with mild but distinct seasons.

Summer's were warm and the days were long with sunlight. My childhood was filled with memories of swimming in lake Washington and endless hours of playtime.

Winters were wet and dark and remind me of mornings when I would wake with the darkness and run to the heat vents, and pull my night gown over my knees to quickly warm.

Spring came with the smell of mowed grass and brightly colored wild flower and a crisp air.

Then fall would bring a musty dampness and a colorful change in leaves.

I didn't appreciate it when I lived there, only now when I go back to visit do I see what amazing beauty my home city has to offer.

I now crave the trees and air of the Pacific Northwest that is so clean and expansive it feels as if you could drink it.

I've lived in Southern California for almost 14 years and while I love many aspects of my now home, I have felt a persistent nagging and calling to go back home, back to my roots, back to the trees.

It's made me wonder why I feel this way because San Diego has so much to offer, sunshine, beaches, ocean, wonderful parks, restaurants, and things for kids to do.

It's hard to complain about this beautiful city.

But with all its pleasantries what San Diego doesn't have is seasons. Winter is a colder rainier summer, fall is a rainier summer, summer is a hot summer and spring a milder summer.

We gauge the seasons by the amount of AC and Heat we use.

It's currently May as I write this, just the tail end of Spring, and to be honest I had to look it up to know what season we were in.

Visually outside its sunny, the park across the street has dried grass with patches of green and the temperature a nice 76 degrees. Next month will start the beginning of summer which will most likely raise the temperature up another 10 degrees enough to make the heat seem significantly more.

There is an unease that I feel with the absence of cycles, seasons, a start and end, that seems to put me in an endless state of movement and a disregard for rest.

Sometimes I wish the sun to just turn off so that I could have permission to just watch movies all day and lie in bed.

A friend of mine once said "I'm not going to let this sunshine ruin my day". And many days it must become a deliberate day of rest, despite the sunshine beckoning you outwards.

In my recent slight obsession with seasons and cycles I was reminded of a book that I read that first got me Interested in Chinese medicine. It was called Staying Healthy through the Seasons.

It talked about how each season corresponded to an element, an action, feeling, diet and lifestyle that worked in harmony with the cycles of the year.

It talked about our interconnectedness to the earth and also to ourselves.

It got me me thinking about how I seem to work more cyclically with my creativity, and how I can sometimes be hard on myself for not sticking with something for a long period of time.

Maybe perhaps I was just following the instincts of my own natural internal cycles.

I have short seasons, short burst of energy, I like to work in small increments of time and change happens quickly.

Seasons offer boundaries and limitations as to what is possible, what is rhythmic, and what to expect.

Just like nature we have seasons in our life that correspond to where we are developmentally, physically, and emotionally.

Maybe if we just acknowledged and gave into the cycles that we are in we wouldn't be so hard on ourselves when the timing just isn't right. When we are pushing for something to happen now, when maybe it's just too green, too early.

Maybe should we demand our fruit be ready too early we might be forced to deal with the sour bitterness that comes with picking things off the vine too soon.

I remember wanting to pick blackberries back home when they had just turned from red to black, but were still hard and seedy. I would pull those berries off and pop them in my mouth and a bitter sourness would overwhelm me.  It was always a disappointment but I couldn't help myself.

A month later those blackberries would be so ripe they would literally fall off the Vine into my hand and the sweet juiciness was so flavorful and rich and was always well worth the wait.

Timing is everything and our preparation and hard work for the very moment that the timing is right is what luck is all about.  It's what magic is all about.  It's what makes things taste so sweet.

If we believe that we have a connection to this earth to the natural flow and Rhythm in life then we must too believe that we have that Rhythm within ourselves.

As we move from spring into summer which denotes action, connectivity, and transformation, now is the time to embrace that.  Letting go perhaps of the creative action orientated energy of spring.

I may have to wait a little longer for the season to be ripe for me to return back to the trees and the Pacific Northwest, so for now my curiousity, during whatever seasons this is in my life, will be about honoring and noticing the cycles in my life, and how they naturally lead me to where I need to be.