While the earth experiences the seasons differently all over the world due to latitude, longitude, elevation, etc., I am focusing on the seasonal experiences of Europe and North America, so the northern hemisphere, and how they’re experienced (sans global warming).
In your observational practice, are you taking into account the seasons and its effects on the land, creatures and people around you? On yourself?
In each section I ask the questions:
What comes to mind when you think of ___?
What symbolizes ___ to you?
I give my own answers, but these are questions you should ask yourself and perhaps write the answers down in a notebook or journal of some kind.
A time of fresh starts and new beginnings. The world begins to wake up from her winter’s sleep and life starts to reemerge. Planting seeds and noticing greens and flowers coming out and breaking through the cold. Many animals have their offspring in the spring. Life is full of possibilities – anything can happen.
What comes to mind when you think of spring? Babies, new/fresh starts, small flowers, sunshine, young/new love, spring veggies (asparagus, leek, wild garlic), light-hearted music, outdoor activities
What symbolizes spring to you? Spring veggies, babies of all kinds, flowers, light and pastel colors, the sun, green leaves
Life is in full swing and the weather is hot. Some harvesting and more planting is taking place. Fresh fruits and veggies are making an appearance and life is full of activity, particularly the outdoor kind. Clothes and layers are shed and time is taken off to relax and enjoy the bounty and energy around you. Parties and celebrations are plentiful, as well as BBQs and events around water (pools, beaches, lakes, etc.). Many take to the outdoors to get their fill of warmth and sunshine.
What comes to mind when you think of summer? Celebrations, food, water activities, parties around sources of water, sunshine, suntans, BBQs and big, leafy, green salads, strawberries, outdoor sports, water sports, the prime of life, abundance of energy
What symbolizes summer to you? Sunshine, watermelon, the beach, hot outdoor temperatures, sunglasses, bathing suits, tomatoes, fire
Life and activity is winding down and preparing for the colder months ahead. Harvesting the summer crops and making wine. The weather begins to cool down and indoor activities are started up. Canning, preserving and storing of foods of all kinds. Hunting season begins. Schools start and people come back from their breaks and are more content to be stuck inside absorbing knowledge than to be outside in not so pleasant (but necessary) weather.
What comes to mind when you think of autumn? Mushrooms, pumpkin, preserving foods, scarves, jackets, changing leaves, cool and crisp air, sleeping in, school, holidays, hot teas, spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves
What symbolizes autumn to you? Leaves that have changed colors, autumn produce such as nuts, apples, apricots and oranges, pumpkins, root veggies like onions, potatoes, fog, acorns, pinecones, crows, twigs, mushrooms, harvesting, harvesting tools, wine
Life comes to a pause, a nap, a sleep. It’s time for physical rest and contemplation and planning for the year ahead. Many forest animals hibernate. School and work is in full swing. Special holidays are nearing. Cold is strong and biting, often coming with snow. Time is slowed down and the sun is often hidden. Inner growth, cultivation, observation and analysis is strong.
What comes to mind when you think of winter? Snow, winter holidays, cold winds, bundling up before going outside, hot meals and drinks, snuggling in bed, blankets, thick socks, snowy landscapes
What symbolizes winter to you? Snow, evergreen plants, mulled wine, snowflakes, bare trees, ice, hibernating animals, sleep