My North Carolina town has had a string of unusually warm days this month.
Unheard of, really. 75 degrees and sunny on Sunday meant me in shorts and a T-shirt hiking my favorite trail.
And pondering the gorgeous lessons Mother Nature offers us about the rhythms and cycles of life.
The ocean tide ebbs and flows. It comes to and then moves away.
The moon shows us her full face part of the month, then we only see a sliver of her at other times.
Winter invites inward movement, and hibernation. In the colder periods, some plants and animals go underground to prepare to emerge in the spring. They are not lying dormant; they are doing the work of being ready for the next chapter.
And spring comes with her blossoming and blooming and vibrant life. There is an energizing and a waking that occurs in this place.
All of these cycles are necessary. The tide can’t go out if it has not come in. The flowers can’t burst through the earth if they have not been beneath her.
And so it us with us humans. We have cycles too. And I believe that if we recognize and attune to them, we can actually use them to our advantage instead of fighting their existence.
We can know they are right and good and this is the way of life instead of wondering what’s wrong with us or working so fucking hard to fix or change our state.
There are times in our lives where we need to push. move forward and put ourselves out there in the world. There are also times when we need to rest and integrate and reflect. And then we will push and strive again.
Most of us will know unspeakable loss and blissful joy in our lives. We will hold despair so heavy it brings us to our knees and happiness so rich our hearts could burst in our bodies any number of times in the course of our years.
We will want and yearn and that longing will get met and then our desire will start all over again anew.
We are created and destroyed, birthed and extinguished in the span of years, months, weeks, days and sometimes minutes. Over and over. Repeatedly.
The difference between Mother Nature and us is that she trusts in this process. She KNOWS that life and death is the path and allows beauty.
We don’t like the death part of the cycle very much, We’d prefer to be in eternal spring, always feeling alive and vital and and good.
And yet there is a certain peace and acceptance that fills us when we can trust in the sacredness of the inward as much as the rightness of the outward, the holiness of the destruction as much as the celebration of the newness.
One can not exist without the other and both are life, well life-ing.
And the more we can embrace this and notice which cycle we are in, the more we are able to flow with life instead of always struggling against the current.
INVITATION: What cycle are you in right now? What might relax in you if you stopped resisting it?