It’s Spring in Michigan! (Finally? I think?) We have one of those northern Springs – it starts, it stops, it teases, it backs off, it relents, it restarts.
At my house, we joke about who did what to make it go away: Did someone change to the lighter comforter after a week of 60-degree weather? Did someone put the winter clothes in storage? Did someone buy warm-weather shoes? (I’ll admit I did all three this year, right before we had snow flurries. Again.)
Spring has never been my favorite season: growing up in Vermont, it meant mud – lots and lots of mud, mud that made outdoor play and gardening untenable until June some years. Besides, I think everyone who lives in Vermont likes fall the best due to the amazing foliage season!
But as I’ve gotten older – and definitely as I have started living with the seasons instead of ignoring them or wishing them away – Spring touches my spirit more strongly. I wait for the first buds to show on the trees outside my window, I live for the first walk I can take without bundling up. Seeing daylight as I take my daughter to the bus stop means that I see incredible sunrises on my way to work, and the evening light means my son can play basketball until bedtime.
If you know me, you know I’m all about the food, so as our family has shifted to eating seasonally and locally, Spring has me watching the CSA box with great anticipation – when will the storage crops and hardy winter greens turn into baby carrots, new potatoes, spinach and salad mix? When will the pastured eggs be vividly orange again, and when will the farmer say, “It’s lambing season!”
This year, I can actually feel the upward, expansive energy of Spring in my body – suddenly, the warming soups and stews of winter are completely unappealing, and I feel as though I could easily become vegetarian, even vegan…at least until fall!
We live in a society where it’s easy to slip into eating whatever we want, whenever we want. Winter? No problem – we’ll just get strawberries flown in from South America! Fruit from the tropics and vegetables from warmer climates line the produce shelves all year, making us believe that they are meant to be consumed year-round.
But what happens to our bodies, minds, and spirits when we live in this denial, when we ignore the ebb and flow of Nature? The greatest risk, I think, is that we lose our connection to Nature’s powerful energies – energies that can help us not just survive but thrive in each season.
The greatest benefit I have discovered to not just eating but living seasonally is that I seem to have boundless energy and a phenomenal immune system all year round. Living fully into each season and embracing its energy is not difficult, but it does take some mindfulness and some knowledge of your Bio-individuality™.
I’ll be posting more about living and eating seasonally, but in the meantime, if you live in the Ann Arbor area, I invite you to come and learn about how to fully embrace the energy of Spring at a day-long workshop I’m conducting in collaboration with energy healer Lucinda Kurtz on May 3. (Details and online registration on the blog.) I hope to see you there!