By Kachina L. Smith, D.Ac., L.Ac.
Coming out of Winter, Spring is usually a time of inspiration. According to us Westerners, the new life coming from the deep unknown and stillness of Winter is the beauty and optimism of Spring; the idyllic time surrounded by blooming flowers and trees, warmer weather, and emerging hope. However, in the Chinese cycle of seasons, Spring begins much earlier. Those idyllic days are actually the fruition of Spring’s movement and the beginning of Summer. The Chinese calendar marks the equinox or solstice of a season as its peak. Of course this makes sense because the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. Conversely, the Winter Solstice is the longest night. When we view our seasonal cycle from this perspective, Spring actually sprang in February.
Spring is the time of the Wood element. The water element/Winter is it’s mother. In Winter, water nurtures the seeds in the soil below and the sprouting and growth is the next stage. So, what is true Spring? True Spring is the transitional process, the birth of nature from Winter to Summer. Birth can be a powerful and fierce experience. By no means a smooth process, neither is Spring.
When it is time for a child to be born, contractions come in waves to move the baby out and into the world. In nature, the weather’s temperature oscillates from cold to warm. Rain, sleet, snow, storms, wind – the expansion and contraction moving us into the next season. In the midst of birth, the process is full of woe not just physically but emotionally. Spring and the Wood element are associated with the emotional expression of anger. What woman doesn’t get a little angry during birth? A gross understatement, I know, and anger is not always negative.
Anger is the stirring up of the still and stagnant so change can occur. In its positivity, anger is the power of creativity and ingenuity. It supplies the motivation and drive to action so our dreams, hope and promise give way to the beauty, relief and joy of a new life.
Stay tuned…the next blog post will continue the exploration of Spring and how it’s manifesting in our lives today.
PS, by the way…did you know that Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD is open to the public? Amazing place!