The month of May has been the start of my journey to try and live a more seasonal and natural lifestyle.
It's something I've been really interested in for a while but it's taken me until now to actually start making a more conscious effort to really begin living it.
To start us off, what is seasonal living?
Is it just eating foods that are in season?
That is certainly a part of it but that's not it in its entirety.
Seasonal living is embracing each season as it comes and living in a really natural and mindful way with them.
It's truly experiencing all the wonderful seasons that God has given us and gaining a appreciation for them. It's living with the earth and the order that God established for it back at the time of creation.
Something I've noticed is that a lot of people have a favorite season or perhaps a season they hate. For me I've always lived for Autumn and hated Spring.
I've found Spring to always be cold, windy and wet. It's miserable. After winter time I expect that Spring is going to be glorious and warm and it never delivers for me. Now whenever Spring rolls around, I'm so disappointed and annoyed that I have to deal with yet another Spring. I wish away my time and spend my days longing for Summer and Autumn.
Well I don't want to do that anymore. I want to enjoy every season for all its wonderful benefits. Spring is certainly an important part of the cycle God has in play on our earth.
It's the time when the deadness of the Winter begins to renew. Plants begin their growth and animals in hibernation start to wake up. If we went straight out of Winter into a hot Summer the earth wouldn't have time to prepare itself for the heat. I don't know for sure, but I don't think it would go very well.
It's about really living and moving with the seasons and natural cycles put in place by God. There are lots of ways we can do that. Here are some suggestions for embracing any of the seasons.
Get out in nature. (This is a big one!)
Have a year round vegetables garden.
Take notice of the changes and move with them.
Get your house decorated for the season.
Create family traditions for each season.
Changing your bedtime up as the seasons change.
Move your body differently in the different seasons of the year.
Set different intentions for each season according to its natural rhythms
Practice self care in different ways to compliment the changing seasons
And yes, eating the foods that grow naturally at that time of year in your area.
This is just a quick introduction. I plan to get more in depth another time in a different blog, but this is a taster for you now so you can get thinking about this idea of seasonal living for yourself.
So what have I been doing in my life to embrace Autumn more fully?
Well because Autumn us already my favourite season which I completely adore, it certainly made it easier to appreciate. A good place for me to start!
My problem with Autumn before was I loved it so much but didn't actually take enough time to really stop and admire it. I was always excited on the first of March because I thought of that day to be the first of Autumn. But then I'd blink and it would be June and Winter would be here. Every year I'd kind of kick myself for not enjoying it more.
So my challenge this time around was to be more aware of Autumn and all the beauty it brought to the world.
I spent more time outside.
I'm not super good at this. I naturally tend to just stay inside. Even though it gives me terrible headaches. After about a minute of me pushing myself outside I often find they clear up completely. I always have so much to do that I find I'm indoors a lot. But my body loves to be outside. I feel so good when I get outdoors and breath fresh air, feel the sunshine and get my feet into some dirt. I have been trying to make more outdoor time and it has been fabulous. I want to do a lot more of this for sure but baby steps is good.
I have been burning a lot of candles. This gives my home a really nice cozy atmosphere that feels so good in the Autumn. I love candles any time of year but they feel especially good during these colder months.
We have been lighting our fire only. I know not everyone has a fire and so I understand this one won't be applicable to everyone. But to really feel the seasonal change I don't want my whole house to be super hot like in the Summertime. I don't want to be freezing so we have our fire going but it really only heats up our kitchen/dining room. This way when we walk around in other areas of our house we feel the temperature. It's cold. We wear sweaters and socks to keep warm. But that's part of embracing Autumn. If I was still walking around my house in my t shirt and shorts it wouldn't feel like it was truly Autumn.
Also with our fire burning we have little stacks of firewood and pinecones in baskets in our kitchen. This makes our house have that wood smell and such an Autumny look.
I've swapped out my Summer staple vegetable of zucchini to my Autumn staple vegetable cauliflower. I've never really paid attention to which fruits and vegetables are in season. I've always just bought whatever. This year I've been more mindful of choosing food that is grown in this season here in New Zealand.
Have you been trying to live more seasonally? What have you been doing to be more conscious of and enjoy Autumn? Or Spring if you're in the northern hemisphere?