Pondering Washington D.C.’s climate, I constructed my own Wheel of the Year for living in season. Spring begins “Tulip Tree Blooms” in March and continues with “Cherry Tree Blooms” at the end of March to the beginning of April (the time of the official Cherry Tree Festival). April and May are “Humid Blooms.” June is “Wet Summer,” and July through September, “Tropical Summer. Autumn is be split into October, “Hot When Leaves Turn Color,” and November -December, “Cool When the Leaves Fall.” Mid-January is “Thaw” and End-February is “Pussy Willows.” This is how I live in sync with my climate.
Why would I want to do this? How does “living in season” help a person? We have seasonal cycles – times when we are active, and times when we become sick. Some people have winter blues, while others have spring fever. In subtle and not-so-subtle ways, the seasons shape people’s lives. Living in artificial time means that people neglect or are unaware of their own cycles. No one can be a machine that goes at a constant steady state. People have down times and flat times. Living within the natural rhythm of “slow time” enhances both the physical and mental health of a person.
Living in season can be a time when we look forward to cherry blossoms or falling leaves playing in the wind. The month of May for me is a time of review where I am in my life. Summer is a time of going to the pool and reading. I am the most active in the fall. Around the winter solstice, I am at my lowest and must focus intently on self-care. Having little rituals for each cycle helps to remind me of the joy and satisfaction that nature brings.