Sunday, March 24, 2013

on cultivation

Colorful succulents
This time of year is downright fascinating. The earth begins to thaw, the ground gets a little softer, the smells change to cut grass and dirt. It's overwhelming at times to see all that blossoms. For the past week, I have observed my daffodils staring in the direction of the sun and slowly opening bit by bit, moment by moment, working to bloom. The observed process got me thinking about cultivation.

A couple weekends ago, we had our "break" in the climate system. It was our first weekend of true spring warmth, warm enough to be out in my t-shirt cutting up brush from the fall and composting it. I worked up a sweat and it felt good to be outside doing yard work. Working in the yard is one of my own favorite past times and now, living in somewhat of a temperate climate, yard work opportunities present themselves year round. I was cutting up brush, breaking sticks, raking grass and debris, and smiling.

The word cultivation came to mind.

As I was completely immersed in that present moment, I started to tune into the entire symbolic nature of cultivating the earth and cultivating ourselves in the process. Especially as the season change, these surges of energy become much more apparent. For those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, winters are damp, grey, dark, and have a gloominess and deep rest about them, much like most of the northern hemisphere. When we start to see bursts of spring, it feels as if we can open the shutters wide and peel off the layers of protection.

Yet, as all of this is happening, we can't forget the intense work we did all winter cultivating strong foundations, goals, planning, and strategies for the velocity that hits us as soon as that sun starts to shine on our faces. For me, the winter was about finding the linings of balance, healing, and rest. I changed my attitude about doing and transformed into the state of being and slowing down, saying no to things that do not make me absolutely happy. I refined my own values and decision making framework around what I want to say yes to: anything that encompassed, writing, the outdoors, yoga & meditation, and a deep sense of community. I nourished these interested and feel really strong going into spring and summer with a sense of peace and clarity.

As the weather is changing, as the energy starts to flow in the ground and around us, take some time to contemplate your own foundation that you have developed through the winter and make some loose plans on how you want to feel as you step into this new light.

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