Living with the seasons - Spring
Quickly, upward rising… ready set go!
As the winter hibernation period ends, Spring is a time when we feel that something is rising and bubbling inside. The days are warmer and longer, and nature is starting to bud and shot. Spring is characterised by erratic weather - rain, sun, then more rain, and more sun, followed by heavy winds. The plants love this vibrancy and rapidly grow with incredible vigour. On the farm, we see bright yellow flowers on the wattle trees, deciduous trees (such as the hazelnut & silver birch tree) bud, and a rapid growth in all things green (including weeds and nettle) and wild mushrooms fruit. Animals also wake up from hibernation - the winter lambs grow quickly with the greener pastures, and wild deer and the cockatoos can be heard throughout the property.
With longer warmer days, our working days lengthen and we spend more time outdoors. We are busy preparing garden beds and managing the abundance of weeds & green growth. With this sudden dynamic shift in energy, it’s hard not to be swept with this upward flow and spiral into a frantic state (which is easy to do). We remain disciplined on time spent in quiet reflection, meditation, and take regular water/tea breaks to rest.
Light, bitter green salads
Early spring is a good time to prepare garden beds, soil and compost. We prepare our garden beds with well-rotted manure, compost and mulch. We fix and set up fences and netting to help protect our summer veggies from wildlife such as fox, wombats, rabbits, deer and birds.
With little growing in the garden other than greens and our store supply of root veggies dwindling, spring is a good time to enjoy lighter meals or to fast. In season are leafy greens, wild nettle, mushrooms, avocado and sprouting broccoli. Our spring meals include leafy green salads, lightly steam veggies, and green smoothies. Our favourite spring herbal bitter teas include dandelion, wormwood or nettle which are supportive of the liver and gall bladder.
Emotions and energetics
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the element associated with Spring is wood which has an upward energy, and this energy is expressed through the Liver and Gall Bladder meridian. From a TCM perspective, the liver ensures the smooth flow of qi, stores blood and is responsible for planning and finding a clear path through life. The gall bladder controls the tendons, ligaments and cartilage and controls decisiveness. When we are in harmony with the wood element, we have a vision for our future, have a clear plan and ability to make decisions to enact out that plan. When we are out of balance, we have trouble making decisions and feel a lack of purpose in our lives. Out of balance, we may feel anger, frustration, agitation or have sporadic emotions and feel tension or headaches in the head/shoulders/neck.
The wood element loves to move. So if you are feeling slightly out of balance in spring, try spending time outdoors to be more expansive, both physically and emotion. Walking, running, swimming, or bodywork are all beneficial to more excess energy in our body.
Enjoy the warmer weather and be sure to let that upward energy express itself creatively and dynamically.