The Rhythm of The Seasons
Seasonality has been at the heart of human history for as long as there have been humans walking the earth. Knowing what to eat at what times of year, where to hunt, where to seek shelter, and how to live in accordance with the whims of nature was integral to our very survival as a species.
Within our modern world, the very notion of seasonality has lost its meaning for many of us. Machines cool us down if we are too hot in summer and warm us up in winter, crops grow all year round in artificial environments, and most of our lives are spent cocooned within a technological framework. Over time we have lost our somatic connection to the seasons, our embodied affinity for nature that once regulated when we woke up and went to sleep and formed the basis of our ritual celebrations around harvest time or the summer equinox.
The relationship between society and the deeper rhythm at play within nature has moved from this somatic attachment to a merely intellectual one. We conceptualise each season in terms that are easily understood and therefore more marketable – retaining only a semblance of the ancient embodied knowledge that was born of this deeper connection.
Yet there remains something fundamental about this meta-rhythm of the earth that we can choose to tap into if we wish. Noticing what each season is calling for from us requires calm reflection, and the answers may not always be obvious. Autumn, after all, is not just a time for shedding and harvesting, but for planting too.
Seasonality is a well-worn metaphor within the context of our own lives; the spring of youth, the autumn of later years etc. However, when a metaphor becomes over familiarised it can lapse into cliché, losing the essential wisdom it once held. To better connect with this wisdom, we need to think more deeply about the imagery itself and how it applies to our lives beyond the obvious connotations. What do the seasons really meant to us? How do we feel at different times of year, at different points of our lives? What do we wish to connect with and hold on to?
Thinking about the seasons reminds us that rhythm plays a larger part in life beyond the micro-scale of the day-to-day. Noticing what each season is calling for from us opens up a new way of thinking about ourselves and our own creative, generative spirit.