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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Equinox 2012 and the Transition

Last night or early this morning, depending on your time zone, marked the spring equinox. That means we have an equal amount of light and darkness.  It's a little fuzzy to me whether that means last night and today or today and tonight or somewhere in between.  Apparently it's really not totally 100% equal anyway, but close.  If you're in the Northern Hemisphere that means spring equinox.  If you're in the Southern Hemisphere that means fall equinox.  I tried to sort this out last year. What I really know for sure is that in my part of the world, today is the first day of Spring and nature 100% agrees.  We've got way above normal temperatures and sunny skies. 

In my opinion, equality is one of those words that perhaps in our overuse we have twisted a bit to mean something else.  We tend to think of this as being very positive in nature and sometimes use it to mean that.  But it really just means "the same" and the word itself doesn't put a judgement on whether that is good or bad. Hmm...

Spring is considered to be a time of action.  It's when we put those dormant plans, that thinking, contemplative, energy into "doing". We are encouraged to "get outside" instead of "gazing outside". We are to clean up the yard and allow new growth to emerge from the blanket of leaves.  It's time to crawl out of the cave and take a look around. Hmm....

I know there are people that jump out of bed in the morning and are ready to go. They can make a quick, almost immediate, transition from sleeping to waking and thought to action. I'm not one of them. I like to catch "just a couple more minutes of sleep", maybe take a look around before I put my feet on the ground. I enjoy that first coffee to consider the day and think about what I might want to do.

So for me, the idea that yesterday it was winter and today it is spring is just a little jarring.  I'm not quite ready to let go of winter yet and I need some time to adjust.  I feel a little cheated out of storm days and winter blasts. We didn't really have much this year and maybe I missed that just a bit. I'm happy enough to see spring. The sun feels good, the warmth is great. I look forward to flowers popping up and green grass replacing the dead leaves.  I just need a bit of time here in the middle between winter and spring. I might want to float back to the winter side a bit before I'm ready to commit fully to spring. I'm not quite ready to put away my mittens or exchange winter boots for sandals. I don't even know where the sandals might be, and I am not into "spring cleaning" in order to find them! I'll have to think about that a bit.

It's possible that I'm all alone on my reluctance to totally and completely welcome this sudden change of season but I don't think so.  I've met a few people over the past couple of days that seemed a bit "out of sorts" without really knowing why and I wonder if that isn't the reason.

Nature doesn't make this sudden and complete shift. Nature has been working on getting to this equal state of light and dark for awhile now. The temperature is going to go up and down a bit before we settle into new levels. Those plants that are pushing through the soil have been working at it for awhile. I've never met a bear coming out of his cave, but I don't think they pop up and jump around. I think they stretch a lot and lazily sniff the ground, squint in the sun, wonder around a bit sort of lost and confused in the adjustment. I think a few of them might decide, like the groundhog, to go back for a just a few more minutes before they leave that warm bed for good.

So it's us humans that decided we needed to speed things up, and suddenly "get into gear" and get "doing" instead of thinking, acting instead of planning.  It was humans that decided there should be new fashion trends to celebrate spring and that we should suddenly switch our activities. Okay then.  Well, if you're the kind of person that jumps out of bed ready to go and jumps into Spring ready to plant, or clean or "do" anything- then it's official and you "go for it"- enjoy.  I'm going to just take my time and think about it a bit.  Maybe I'll have a second cup of coffee and enjoy the view a bit.

I think most people, myself included, jump back and forth a bit in the transition from winter to spring. We still want to read a really good book under the blankets but a part of us wants to be outside doing something- we just aren't really sure what. It can be a real time of restlessness in the transition. There are some Bach Flowers that might help you find the balance if your body is adjusting a bit slower. Scleranthus, Beech, Clematis, Crab Apple, Impatiens and Walnut might all be worth considering.

Scleranthus helps balance that jumping back and forth, grasshopper restlessness that can come with a change in season and a change in moods. If you're having difficulty deciding what it is you want to do, or how you feel, Scleranthus can be quite balancing.

Let's face it, a few bears when they come out of the cave could use a few drops of Beech.  They can be irritable and intolerant of all that sunlight, all that noise, those pesky bugs and the lack of immediate sources of food. Beech might help you accept that type of irritation in others and balance it in yourself a bit better.

Spring is the time for bringing plans to action and that speaks to the energy of Clematis.  If you're wanting to go back under the covers to dream instead of working that dream into reality, Clematis might be for you. It can also be very helpful for kids that find it difficult to concentrate in school when they feel the "call" of warmer days and adventure outside the window.

If you've got a bit crazy in the urge to spring clean and all that sunshine is making you feel embarrassed bythe streaks on the windows, the dust bunnies dancing in the sunbeams and the muddy floors, Crab Apple might be helpful for you.  It can also help if you feel the need to "shed a layer" before you're ready for Spring, lighter clothes and sandals.

If you're the "jump out of bed person" and all this slow transition phase is making you bounce around with impatience to get going, a few drops of Impatiens might help. If you've got out the pitch fork and found the ground is still frozen and you're considering a bigger shovel or a well aimed blow torch, this is the Bach Flower for you. Impatiens can help you relax as you wait for nature to catch up with the season humans have decided "is here".

It seems we all are feeling more of a connection to nature's cycles and changes. Perhaps that means during transition phases we need to consider Walnut more often. Walnut can help provide protect from change and outside influences. It's helpful during atmospheric changes. Perhaps that unsettled "out of sorts" feeling is your body feeling the subtle influences of nature changing as it tries to settle into place with a new season.

It is Spring and that is a good thing. Winter, Summer and Fall are good too.  They are all good, for different reasons.  In this time of equinox we're really hanging in the middle between winter and spring as the pendulum swings towards spring. Often transition causes angst. Perhaps it's about acknowledging, allowing, and soothing ourselves gently as we enter a new phase, courtesy of nature. Maybe just knowing that we're experiencing a shift is all that's required to soothe the angst. Bach Flowers, a good pair of rubber boots and the freedom "be" will all help the transition.

Enjoy the puddles!

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