Spring is both my favourite and most wrestled with season. In spring it's time to plant, blossom and sprout, sowing the seeds for the season ahead. Seeds are magical all on their own. The tiny carunculated brown dots from which whole leaves, flowers and trees will shoot up. From THESE little dry things? It doesn't seem possible.
Planting is always an act of faith. In the same way, new beginnings are small, unlikely and seemingly impossible. Spring marks a space of new beginnings that requires confidence and trust in our own skills and creative process. How in the heck is this tiny step ever going to result in the shining space-opera of the final vision?
The burst of energy that comes into the garden with the first warm days can also be daunting. The blossoms, scents and pace of new growth are so stimulating they can be overwhelming. This is often a space where its easy to get caught off balance. Others projects and flowerings, instead of a space of joy and inspiration, can present an impossible standard we will never reach. Even if we are presenting work that is beautiful. Even if we are celebrating our own success or how or planetary romance, Spring can easily be that season of " Never Enough". I know that with the New Moon in Virgo this year I woke up in tears several times, at all the things I had failed at, even in this amazing space of growth and beginning.
This year is an improvement. I'm finding ways to hold the electric flows of nature waking up without being bowled over. When I can remember to let go and fall into this ABC of Spring Things that is , as usual, a template from the garden.
The winter has been a period of rest and preparation. In an ideal world we were able to withdraw, hibernate and snuggle up to look over the past growing season. In most contemporary cultures there is not as much space to do this as we would love. It's easy to reach Spring still feeling tired. The awakening taking place in the garden will call forth joy and creative processes for us, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the hurry-up culture. Walking through the garden is an important reminder that every spring plant wakes up at its own pace. Depending on when the rains come, or don't, depending on light and temperature, everyone has their own rhythm of waking up to the creative process. Sometimes its a different pace every year. This is an important moment to remember that I am affected by everything around me and not on an isolated journey of brain-power alone. This has been a hot,dry spring. In the Northern Hemisphere there are hurricances. Here we have an ongoing drought in the Cape. While the dams are full in the Highveld region, there is still a dry, dusty windswept vibe that is easily draining. Some seeds and some projects need to wait on the rains. Some ideas will only be able to take off when the slow flush of renewed energy picks up. Its a spring of Long Naps and sweat pants mornings. Ok. I must register and adjust. This means I hurry gently and awaken slower. If I'm noting this and holding this awareness, I might fight less with my husband over who has not done what tasks. I might push myself less to fulfill others expectations. I might be less tired.
If I don't keep this in mind, over-balancing, overwhelming and draining my own balance of energy, finance and creative resource is way too easy.
One of the key images of Spring in this house is seedlings that have gotten too tall to support themselves. I start most of my seeds on shady tables and windowsills. If I don't move them to sunshine locations at the key moment they get leggy, long and spindly and they flop over because their rush to reach for growing energy is not supported by their stems or root systems....Sound familiar? I know this is my Key Fail Point in this particular seasonal cycle.
A successful Spring is about balancing the surges of growth and joy with support-diet, exercise and the rest that can seem impossible in the burst of growth and beauty surrounding us. It doesn't help to plant more than we can care for. It doesn't help to start eighteen projects when their is only enough support and energy to maintain two. Without balance this can easily be a season of over-reaching.
We also don't live in a time that allows space to sit in wonder. Amongst traditional practices that align with the seasons, spring requires time out. Time to sit and observe the blossoms. Time to sit and sketch, paint, watch, listen and drink in the fragrances. Time to Sit Still. I struggle more with this than anything else at this time of year.
Even though I know that sitting watching a flock of tiny Zosterops play through the plum blossoms, or quietly resting under the Wisteria as it drops blossoms down on me will give me the peace and resilience to manage the day, I will steal this time from myself. For what? To be Busy.
When I am mindful of the importance of balance at this time of year, it is easier to make room for the quiet reflection and drinking in of beauty. This is also a key moment where Self Care becomes Care of Others- Out of balance Raging Exhausted Human is the weakest player on very team and a nightmare to live with.
This is where the kick in the pants from the rising sap and exploding blossom comes in. Do you have Spring Fever? Like Hay Fever this can manifest in itches and problems with breathing and temper. Proper balance, diet, nutrition and rest all help up to a point, but in spring, like the plants and animals around us the urge to Make Something is also oozing out of every pore of us humans. This is a season where sitting on dreams, projects and hobbies can be hazardous to our health.
But wasn't I just talking about the need for rest, stillness and absorbing the beauty around us?
Yes. But. As nature is never one dimensional, aligning with the seasons requires us to fully engage a complex understanding. There is acreative urge that we need to follow. In balance. In moderation. With editing and an eye to what is sustainable. The joy of this season also needs to be manifested and expressed. We practice systems and control to allow our creativity to explode in a sustainable and supported way. The whole point of getting strong and balanced is to use that strength and grace to build. So build. Make a new bed in the garden. Put together those new shelves. Begin that non-profit or start-up you've been dreaming about. Start the blog or novel. Dance, even if it is just for you. Write that song, even if it is just for you. As we know, frustrated human creativity leads us on to some of the darkest roads possible ( and again, makes us doubtful and furious and No Fun At All)
So, after your wheatgrass smoothie or rooibos-and-honey or your Recharge Doughnut, create the dream that has been hovering.
This is mine. On this Spring Equinox day I'm starting to work on the channel/platform/business that will allow me to share my process and products and hear all about yours. Spring Second Act Boxes coming soon.... Newsletter coming soon... IG for this blog also kicking off today. And I would love to hear from you! What are the challenges this season holds?