Since the beginning of time, people have written songs, poems and stories about those fascinating acts of nature known as the change of seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Why do these changes happen and how do they affect us?
The entire world is tilted at a 23.5 degree angle. Because of this, the north and south poles each spend time pointed towards and away from the sun. When the Earth is tilted away from the sun, the rays strike the northern hemisphere at an angle, which means the heat energy is not as direct. Therefore, the northern and southern hemispheres experience changes of season, with the north experiencing winter and the south experiencing summer.
The changes of season are an example of nature’s law of conservation at work. The cycle of birth, life, decay and death helps to keep the planet in proper balance, rather than force animals and plants to maintain a constant and exhausting pace of life.
Spring is the season of new birth and growth. Summer is the season where plants grow fast; everything is at it’s peak in life – people have more energy and are generally very active. Fall is the season where things begin to drop and mature; once the vigorous Summer is over, everything needs to turn inwards so as to prepare for the harsh winter. The season upon us – Winter, is the time to slow down and save energy – a time to reflect and rest in order to renew and energize our body, mind and spirit in preparation for Spring; living things slow down to save energy while some animals hibernate.
If we pay close attention to nature, we can see and feel many clues that are naturally there to guide us through it’s processes. For example, there is a harmony between food and the weather. Foods eaten during the four seasons have different impacts on the human body. Chinese philosophy suggests that you embrace your native foods, in addition to eating locally grown foods and those in season. Natural, home-grown and chemical-free products are the most nutritious foods.
Winter is also a good time to boost the natural constitution of the body and improve symptoms associated with chronic conditions. A person’s appetite tends to increase over winter when they have a lower metabolic rate. During this time, absorbed nutrients from foods can be stored more easily and energizing herbs can give the body a good boost.
In reflecting on the past year, the new year is a good time to renew our focus on maintaining our ideals and holding close those persons that energize and positively impact our lives. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall – embrace the seasonal changes and enjoy nature and all her bountiful offerings.
Happy New Year!