Nature is not always gradual. We have gone from winter to spring in short order. Within a week our mountain of snow was gone, and now even the brown grass is greening up. The sun casts a touch of warmth when in hits the skin, and the daffodils are eager to grow. Even so, the morning can be frosty or balmy, and passing clouds not only obscure the sun but can send a solid chill. We who live in such climes know in body and mind that winter is still close by and can return without much effort at all. It often has, with the intense spring snows that fall, heavy wet and full of purloined water.
My elder son is noticing that as the seasons shift, so does his mood, and it mirrors nature as well. Not that he is feeling more lively, but that he shifts mood as quickly as the weather, bright and energetic to cold and slow. He finds this bothersome as he cannot concentrate when awake and cannot rouse himself when sleepy.
I admire his insight, and his visceral sense of connection to nature. He is not an outdoors type, eating wild berries and tromping through woods and befriending the denizens of the forest and field. He and I are city creatures. But nature is not absent from the city, as anyone who buys a can of Raid knows. We delude ourselves to think cities and houses are shelters away from nature. So I admire his awareness of its ubiquity, even inside him.
We call our Adult Ed system here, “Seasons of the Soul” which I really like. Today I am reminded that the inner state is profoundly connected to the outer, the personal to the social, the human to the non human. Being at peace is not about stillness so much as being aware of where we are and trying to embrace that time and place. Even hard times can be the right times, sometimes.