The Cook Awakening

Shoots Through the Snow

March 6, 2011
Posted in: Seasonal Change

We’re in that awkward in-between place in the year. Where I am the bulbs have sprung, and in some cases, even started to bloom; trees and bushes are leafing and budding; the sun is rising earlier and setting later enough to really notice and rejoice in – and then comes another cold snap. I wonder – were the plants and my psyche confused and tricked? Or is this part of the natural transition from winter to spring? A little bit different every year, sometimes a smooth, steady, graceful treading gently uphill to warmth and new growth, and sometimes hiking over rockier terrain with many starts and stops. I can bemoan the process, judge it, deciding it’s sad for the daffodils to freeze right before they bloom, I’m tired of the gloom of overcast and chilly rain or snow, it’s been winter for months already! Or, I can touch into my own life force in these times and feel something that pulses deep and low, that informs me on another level.

Through the year we move from light to dark to light; from expansion to contraction to expansion. And in that movement is a particular moment where the tipping point is reached and we have moved from one season into another. I think our psyches want to mark that moment. “Now! We’re heading into spring!” “Now! It’s the longest night!” I experience a desire to know something for certain. I want something to count on, something to be sure of in this uncertain world.

But these processes are not a mental creation. They will rarely be bent to our will. They happen as they happen, different every year.

The snow on the ground tells me it may not be quite time yet to hit my full stride of productivity. Some things are still germinating. The tender buds that have poked their heads up from under the earth are not strong yet. And, when the snow comes, they need a little protection if they are to survive. If they freeze – well, it may be a slower year. There may be fewer blooms and fruit in the end. It’s still an unknown. I had two projects planned to launch in the last month, and it became clear that one need to be on the back burner for a while yet. I took a deep breath, and let it rest. It will come to fruition in it’s own time.

I notice my kids are still often sleepy and tired these days. Kids can be a good barometer if I’m a little disconnected from my inner life. I’m taking more naps, even if all I have time for is a power nap. I’ve recently let go of caffeine (again), as I realized I’d been using it to push through some very valid messages my body had been giving me to s l o w d o w n. When my life permits, I’m enjoying longer naps, too. Particularly when recovering from illnesses, whether acute or chronic, sleep is as healing as any medicine or nutritional support.

Remember, our species is adapted to sleeping when the sun sets, and waking when it rises. This is hardwired into our systems. Electric lights and the stretching of our waking hours they allow us is a very new part of our human environment. Our ancestors slept longer hours in the winter, and shorter in the summer. I know our modern lives feel like they can’t support this pattern but there are creative ways we can honor this part of our conditioning, such as the aforementioned naps. We can allow our social lives to slow down, or at least choose less active things to do with our friends and family in the evenings. Consider reading more, writing more, creating art – whatever will support an introspective movement. Our psyches and bodies are still gathering momentum for bursting into bloom. Have trust! It is happening.

I do find it feels good to spend more time in the kitchen in these in-between times. It’s very grounding. I’m back in the routine of baking bread again (even though I don’t eat it myself), and the soups and stews are still attractive. Green veggie stir fries, not so much. Baked chicken with roasted turnips, yes. Braised fennel and collards. Salads, yes, but with creamy dressings for me.

Are you listening to your body? To your life? Are you pushing too hard? What’s working for you? What’s not working? Can you feel the impending Spring?

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 6th, 2011 at 12:15 am and is filed under Seasonal Change. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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