I’ve always believed seasons here in New Brunswick were the right length, because as much as we love each one, as it draws to a close we are ready to move on. Right now is a perfect example. I think everyone loves that romantic first snowfall heralding the end of the year. The popular ideal of Christmas is a white one, and for me personally I still hope for a Christmas snow storm like in all those claymation holiday specials. After the holidays, we enjoy a couple of months of sitting by a cosy fire or reading a book while a heavy blanket of snow covers the earth. Then, as the Spring Equinox approaches…we’re ready for it all to be over. Right now I long to see growing grass and budding flowers, and feel a warm breeze on my face.
Like many pagans, I try to find inspiration and guidance from nature and it’s cycles. I find myself wondering what this eagerness for seasons to change might be trying to say? What is it saying about this spiritual path I’m on? What does it say about my (hopefully) constantly evolving sense of pagan identity? What does it say about the people in my community, and how I interact with them? There’s not going to be one answer for any of these, but it’s interesting to think about.
Sometimes we have an early Spring, and the turmoil of dealing with Winter storms easily transitions into sighs of contentment watching the wind blow through the new leaves on the branches of still mostly bare trees. Sometimes a Summer heat wave persists beyond our patience, and we find ourselves angry in an eternal furnace of frustration. I know I personally find myself melancholy in Autumn, reminded of past loss and sometimes feeling like the upcoming holidays won’t be enough to overcome it. Then with Winter, after the big holidays, comes a hermit like period of isolation that eventually leads to cabin fever.
So what might these things mean?
Spring finally wearing through Winter’s blanket reminds me that sometimes the most calming change comes through patience rather than action. The frustration of Summer’s heat, as all encompassing as it seems at the time, eventually fades to echoes until we once again look forward to a Summer’s day – which tells me when I feel angry at someone or something and never want to see it again…eventually I might be okay with it. The return of Autumn’s loss is healthy, and deserves it’s time, but we can’t dwell on bad things and must to be open better times returning. The message I feel from Winter right now is fairly modern: it’s easy to feel contentment in a cocoon of high speed internet and digital cable, but when the snow melts it’s important to pull yourself away from that and find yourself face to face with other people.
There are dozens if not hundreds of different seasonal transitions, and ten times as many things that each of those might mean, but these are the thoughts coming to me now. I guess the important thing is to accept that while life is made up of cycles, each cycle still has it’s own identity and is different from those that came before. We still have to engage with them each and every time to find how to deal with them and to see where they might take us.