Living With The Rhythm Of The Seasons



Living With The Rhythm Of The Seasons

with the seasons is one of the things that has grounded me. I was not a huge fan of anything but summer and innerly resisted the entire eight months that I find way too cold. I still have a very hard time adjusting to the darkness in the winter. But in the past few years something has shifted. It had something to do with the way the school and kindergarden of my kids follows the rhythms of the changing seasons, and celebrates the bigger and smaller festivals. The rhythm pulled me in. And Id found it to be a very calming and reassuring one. It gives me an overview of the year, it starts looking more like a circle and less like an never-ending line.

Whether I want to or not, the clearly defined seasons of central Europe dictate a lot about how I spend my day. In places where it's summer all year long life seems somehow a bit more endless. Then there is south Asia with it's six seasons that flow imperceptibly into one-another (except the monsoon, with it's wildness). Here, the seasons switch in a matter of a few days. It was still summer last Sunday, today clearly autumn is here. Winter will arrive abruptly too, with it's biting cold.

Summer is easy. Summer is so vibrant that it carries me with it. I bike everywhere, have endless energy. We just need to slip on our shoes when we want to go outside, the city is full of festivals and concerts and street musicians, my garden bursts with flowers and berries, when it's too hot we walk barefoot in a fountain in the city square. At the end of summer I realise that maybe today is the last day in a long while that I'll be lying in my garden without a jacket, that there is so much that I have to put away. Till May. It makes me feel that life is slipping away in a sense.

After a couple of years of struggling with this, I have learned that going with the current can be a beautiful thing. Instead of shutting myself away from the changes, I choose to live them. Through the small things in everyday life. Eating things that are in season for just a short while. Wild mushrooms, corn, strawberries, asparagus. Through scents. Decorating my home with things from outside, be it fresh flowers or pine cones. Or things we make, if the outside doesn't have much to offer at the moment. Through fresh flowers in the summer and candles in the winter.

Here is what my seasons look like:

Autumn:

Picking mushrooms, spicy teas, boiled corn, picking up unfinished crocheting projects from last winter, collecting Hawthorne berries, incense, collections of pine cones and acorns and chestnuts, pumpkin soup, lantern at St Martin's, raking golden leaves, bumping into hedgehogs at night, pickling vegetables, using perfume again.

Winter:

Wool, warming salves, crocheting, sauna, snowball fights, big warm scarves, thrifting handmade woolen socks, very strong ginger tea, folding stars for the windows, skin oils, singing carols, soups, the crunch snow makes when you walk on it, sparkly snow under lanterns at night, hot Glühwein, oranges, browsing at Christmas markets, bringing out handmade Christmas ornaments from past years, votives in the middle of my crystal collection, baking, having someone else bake something for me, Baumkuchen and Lebkuchen.

Spring: 

Light green, birds nest as decor, rubber boots, smoothies, ponchos, asparagus with potatoes, the first regional strawberries, making bunnies out of felt, feathers, spotting birds and squirrels among the (yet) leafless trees, buying a hyacinth for the kitchen window, the first ice cream of the year, first caterpillars and first butterflies of the year, Fasching party with my friends, yellow, getting my biannual haircut, the scent of lilac.

Summer:

Fresh herbs, bicycling, crumpled linen, water kefir, simple dresses, a bag with my bikini and a scarf always in my bicycle bag, meeting friends outdoors, fresh aloe vera gel, the scent of skin when it's been warmed by the sun, painting my toenails, browsing through flea markets, peonies, shells on the windowsill, fresh lettuce from a friend's garden, very long bicycle rides, hats, cold cider, pottering around in the garden.

Image via Sylwia Barytzel

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