By Susan Staley
You could say that every season has their songs. And if you said this, you are probably someone who listens to and for these songs. To consciously participate in and observe the “natural world”, and then shift the way you live your life to match these observations is a fundamental of healthfulness. Some would say that the more attuned we are to the changing seasons of our lives in general, the more balanced and happy we are as individuals and communities, alike.
I think back to early March when the first calls for mandatory quarantine around the country went out. At that time in the season the days were still short and dark, and it was still truly cold in the northeast. This region spent a couple solid months inside as much as possible as winter transitioned into spring. Albeit to say it was a difficult and disorienting time for many people.
And then off in the distance... a birdsong you haven’t heard for a year. And the last of the snow waves away at long last. Patches of green and swollen tree buds catch your eye while driving down the highway or from your kitchen window. Maybe you went to the same tree everyday for 2 weeks to watch the buds unfurl in their slow elvin splendor of fresh green. And maybe this feeling, this display, of new energy and growth enlivened and lifted a part of you too. Spring's bloom causing you to remember that things change. Maybe your focus shifted. Maybe you were able to make that one move. These of some of the songs of spring.
And what of autumn, spring’s transition season sibling? The call of autumn is from within. Within the roots of the trees that call the sap downwards into the earth. It is the trees who release their crisp leaves, watch them whisper and wave as they fall. It is a time to let go of that which cannot come with us into the future. Maybe we grieve and honor our losses. Maybe the cooler weather beggs us to bring the warmth and light of Fire inside our home. Maybe the tea pot whistles more often. Autumn’s song is a remembering song. We remember where we have been and we are strengthened and inspired by it as we move into winter with tenderness and trust.
May we cultivate a deep curiosity and sensitivity to the subtle changes of the seasons around us, in turn developing a keener view of the small shifts and various states that occur within us on the regular and throughout our lives. May we remember that “there is a time for that”, and find greater ease and flexibility for following the season’s lead.
Susan Staley is a clinical and community herbalist and staff member with Railyard Apothecary. She deeply values those herbs and plants commonly available in most grocery stores, and the where the edge blurs between food and medicine. She works with individuals with a variety of health goals including immune, digestive, and mood support. You can schedule a conversation with her or other members of Burlington Herb Clinic here.
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