Finding rhythm when everything around you changes
I was born and raised in British Columbia, and other than a brief stint in Alberta, I’ve always lived in B.C. One of the things I love about the West Coast is experiencing all four seasons.
I know that after the heat of an Okanagan summer, we move into the cool crispness of fall. I know the snow will come but it won’t last long and we’ll shift into the early signs of spring.
I’ve experienced this cycle over and over and my body relaxes with the certainty of this knowledge.
Living in one province also means you start to know the rhythms of nature during each season.
I know when the garter snakes arrive on the Mission Creek Greenway (and don’t walk there then!); I know what time the sun blazes down on Paul’s Tomb and makes the trail too hot to hike; I know you can usually find blue sky on the mountains, even when it’s foggy in town.
We take these natural cycles for granted. You don’t even know they are happening – until they change and throw everything out of alignment!
I left Kelowna in March, the start of spring, so it felt normal for me to land in Croatia when they were starting spring as well. I flowed along throughout Europe as we moved from spring into summer and gladly embraced the heat of Spain in August.
After a month of 40 degree days, my body was ready for the gentle ease into fall. After all, this was the cycle I’ve experienced by whole life, this was all I knew.
But our itinerary was to leave Europe and head to South America in September.
South America – that’s warm, right?
Oh no – South America is just finishing winter and moving into spring in September!
The cold weather was a shock to my system. There was no easing into a cool autumn – we were thrown back in time to do spring all over again.
Back to wearing layers, as the weather changes every hour. Back to dark nights, as the sun sets earlier. Back to trees with no leaves.
Walking to the post office early one morning (to mail my monthly postcards, which is always an adventure in itself), I noticed kids heading to school and adults off to work.
I saw a woman wearing a black cardigan with her dress pants and I got emotional – I was suddenly back home, getting dressed for work and longing for winter to be over.
I remember the feeling well – you’re so ready for spring, you pack away coats and pull out dresses, willing spring to arrive.
There’s still a chill in the air but you refuse to wear a coat so the little cardigan gets worn every morning (often left at the office as the day warms up).
It’s funny – it’s like seeing that cardigan was a signal to my body that it was spring.
Things started to click into place and I let go of longing for fall and it’s changing leaves and pumpkin spice. I slowly started to embrace the idea of spring after summer, of buds appearing on trees, of flowers blooming.
Although I miss fall (my favourite season), and I know it will be strange to skip winter (I won’t miss driving in snow), it’s a fun, new experience to have two springs and two summers in one year.
I don’t know if there is a snake season (I hope not!), I don’t know when the sun gets too hot, I don’t know the signs of a coming storm.
But I do know I’m having an adventure and my brain and body are working overtime to adapt.
Everything is unexpected,
everything is new,
everything is unfamiliar.
And I find the best thing to do is let go, be curious and find your own rhythm as it unfolds.