A TIME FOR EVERY SEASON
There’s something about this time of year.
I always anticipate that it’s going to hit at the beginning of September with the start of the school year but I’m usually wrong. There is always a month of readjustment and settling in. It’s not until now, at the equinox, that I really feel it – a surge of both mental and physical energy and a desire to regroup, reorganize, make lists of goals. It’s all left-brain activity.
The start of a new school year was always exciting to me. Everything came alive and was new. New books and shoes, haircuts and spectacles. New classes, teachers, friends and adventures. The unrelenting green of summer suddenly bursts into a rainbow of colour. The air is crisp and clean and stirs our blood along with the falling leaves.
SEASONS EFFECT OUR ENERGY AND OUR MOOD
This got me thinking about the seasons and how they affect our mood, our energy, and our productivity. Certainly this is true for me and I think it may in some ways be an environmental or a physiological change. But it’s also something that’s deeply entrenched in our way of life and in our culture. Tt’s something that stems from history and is part of our evolutionary story.
Even amongst our prehistoric ancestors the end of summer was a time of social gathering and relaxation. This would be followed by a busy time in preparation for the winter months ahead. There would likely have been a frenzied time of hunting, gathering and preservation before the cold winter months forced us into our sedentary and enclosed hibernation, when the cave painting, basket weaving, song singing and storytelling would take place.
Perhaps it’s the storyteller in me that feels the need to get organized in preparation for this busy time.
MIDWINTER FEASTING AND CELEBRATIONS
We have a desire to accomplish a great deal in a short time, after which we know we will be rewarded with the midwinter festivities, another time of rest, social engagement and feasting. This is followed, for me anyway, by a bit of a low ebb. January is a time to reflect on the holiday season and establish new benchmarks for the beginning of the new year. But before we take action we need to contemplate while we’re undecorated the Christmas trees and sweeping up the needles and putting away the trappings of the festive season for another year. January has traditionally been a month of recovery, reflection and rest, perhaps partly because I celebrate my birthday at the end of January. I don’t switch into it a new mode until until then.
A TIME OF INTROSPECTION AND CREATIVITY
Then around the last week in January or the beginning of February I feel a burst of energy. But this time it’s one that’s in harmony with the solitary, pensive, creative nature of the season, and is typically when I start a new project.
This burst of energy continues and the sustained until Winter gives way to the new life and energy of spring draws us outside and into the action. The frenzy of the summer season is upon us and we succumb to the nomadic urge to move to the Summer camp, to mate, to plant our seeds and nurture our crops in preparation for the fall harvest once again.
Some people don’t like change and resist it, but I love it and crave it. I don’t live by the clock but the turn of the seasons, nature’s measured march of time from one activity and ritual and festival to the next always inspires and energizes me.
How about you? What is your favourite season? Do your peaks and valleys of both physical and mental energy correspond to the seasons?