A Seasonal Tipping Point – Nature’s New Year

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January was not the month to start your New Year’s resolutions. It was the month to relax, do very little and just be.

The main reason I suggest you did nothing is because that’s what nature intended us to do. Think about the month of January and our modern society. If you live in a cold climate I’ll bet there was not a lot of activity going on outside. Lots of outdoor workers are laid off from their jobs during the winter season. If you work in retail or any other service industry you know that January is usually the slowest month of the year for sales. People are broke after the shopping frenzy of the month before. The economy is practically dead. Those lucky enough, jet off to warmer climates to wait it out. January is a long, dark month.

It wasn’t many generations past that folks understood the patterns of nature and the seasonal flow of life. People lived closer to the earth and worked within the turning wheel of the four seasons. Even the bible taught natures wisdoms.

To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, a time to die.
A time to plant, a time to reap.
A time to kill, a time to heal.
A time to laugh, a time to weep.

Lyrics from the song “Turn Turn Turn” by Pete Seeger adapted from the book of Ecclesiastics in the Bible.

But as we move into February, we reach the tipping point of winter. On Feb. 2nd the seasonal wheel turns slightly. For those of you who hate winter, this is a very hopeful event because winter is now half over.

Okay, if you live somewhere still covered in snow, feel free to express your sarcasm to the above statement.  If you are currently suffering from extreme cold weather, it’s alright to swear at me, get it out, I’ll wait………

For the rest of us know this, winter is waning. The seeds that lay dormant under the frozen ground in January are beginning to come alive and, while still unseen to us, are sending out tentative roots into the earth to give anchor for their first shoots of spring later in March.

The sun is getting stronger too. You may have noticed that you are not driving home from work in total darkness any longer. The promise of the return of light that we celebrated at the winter solstice is now manifesting. It’s time to come out of our winter hibernation and begin anew.

Our ancestors created symbolic celebrations to mark this event. Events such as Imbolc, the ancient Gaelic festival marking the first day of spring. St. Brigid Day, in honour of the pagan goddess of fire and fertility who also became a Christian saint. Candlemas, a Christian light purification ceremony and even the more modern Groundhog day, a rodent ritual that tentatively tests for a sign of spring, are all celebrated on Feb. 2nd.

This is the dawn of the new year for nature. Now is the time to make resolutions, manifest new plans and attempt new goals. Following the natural flow of the seasons, this is the best time to germinate the seeds of your dreams into strong healthy, life affirming realities.

Our winter slumber is nearing it’s end. The season has tipped. The wheel is slowly moving forward. It is time to create, hatch, plant, forge and be born anew as nature starts her seasonal new year.

 

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 *This blog post was originally posted Jan. 28 / 2016

 

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