Spring is here

For nearly the entire history of our species we have lived with the natural rhythms and cycles of nature. Be they day and night (circadian rhythms,) or the tides and seasons. Observing, adhering and working in harmony with these rhythms has been extremely important for the hunter-gatherer, for the farmer, for animals, for insects. It meant the difference between survival or death.

City living has largely severed our connection with these rhythms. However, whether we recognise it or not, at a deep biological level we are still tied to these rhythms. Ignoring this has consequences. For example, the adverse ramifications of shift-working (in which we are out of synchronisation with our circadian rhythms) on our health and wellbeing is well studied and documented.  In cities we never really experience darkness of night-time in the way we do in the country, so we lose also our contact with the staggering awesomeness of the heavens and the stars. We become dislocated, adrift in biological time and space, estranged from our true nature.

In cities the changes in seasons are experienced simply in terms of different weather and changing traffic/transport conditions. Previously, the seasons determined what food was available.  (We ate whatever was in season). Now supermarkets have changed all of that. Twenty-four hour shopping; shelves filled out of season; fruits and vegetables imported from half-way across the world; meat is sliced, wrapped in plastic – the connection between the meat we eat and the animal from which it came no longer exists.  Many of the treatments used to create this detached convenience reduces drastically the nutritional value of our food or even makes it harmful to us.

So what can we do about this?

We can reconnect, rediscover balance and connection.

There is no better time to do this than in spring. After months in which nature has been dormant, the grass stopped growing, the insects disappeared, animals hibernating, the trees’  naked limbs bared to the sky, the landscape appeared to be stark and lifeless.

Then suddenly, wondrously there is a stirring; a surge of vitalising energy, a quickening. That which appeared lifeless now is just the opposite. Meadows become covered in a carpet of wild flowers. Buds and brilliant green leaves appear, clothing the trees. Mornings are now a cacophony of birdsong as the evolutionary imperative to find a mate to procreate becomes an irresistible obsession. Bumble bees reappear, aerodynamically, comically improbable and yet there they are, fatly buzzing from flower to flower loaded with pollen. The smells change, the energy of the quickening cannot be contained; it is in the air; it is everywhere. Walking in the forest or in nature our senses are inundated and touched by it, reconnected; we are part of it.  When we simply pay mindful attention – our senses connected to all that is happening, all that is changing moment by moment, then we become part of it and there arises a sense of wonder of gratitude of awe.

So get out into nature. Take daily walks. If you are in a city get out into the countryside. If that isn’t possible, go to a park and simply be. Allow the energy of the quickening to recharge your biological batteries whilst you contemplate the splendidness of it all and just how immensely fortunate it is to be alive, to be born human.

Peace, health and happiness.


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