Living in Oregon for 13 years, I almost forgot what four seasons really felt like. True, we had a colder, rainier winter, and certainly the dry heat of summer was a marked change, but somehow the seasons seemed to melt and blend into one another, and not entirely aligned with the calendar. On the other hand, our time in Missouri has truly been a lesson in seasonality. Always one to celebrate the turn of the seasons, I have fresh appreciation for the cycle of the seasons after living outdoors for an entire summer and essentially living indoors for the winter.
Summer on our homestead was all about the pond: swimming in the pond several times a day, retrieving water from the pond to irrigate the garden, greeting the green heron and red-winged black birds that lived in the ring of trees around the pond. We cooked and ate outdoors, slept in a breezy tent, and rain around barefoot.
Fall has always been my favorite season – a bountiful harvest, the cool, yet sunny days, the glorious colors and crunchiness of leaves, the excitement of lighting the first wood stove fire or drinking hot beverages, a series of birthdays and celebrations. And then winter arrived, with the promise of beautiful snowy days, long nights eating by candlelight and cuddled up with books and knitting, sledding and cross-country skiing, slow-braised stews and soups.
And now, the very first signs of spring are in the air – snow geese fly overhead, bluebirds alight on cedar trees, tulips and garlic are just starting to poke above ground, and perennial flowers are showing signs of growth. As the days lengthen, I find that we rarely light candles anymore; our solar lamps work just fine for the hour or two before bed, and we are outdoors more often than not. The same sofa that found us cuddled for hours each day in winter is littered with clothes and toys.
As I embrace and sink into the seasonality of my homestead, I have been visiting and re-visiting Kathie Lapcevic’s Fiercely D.I.Y. Guide to Seasonal Living. I love Kathie’s blog, Homespun Seasonal Living, and visit it frequently for inspiration and ideas. Her recently revised and revamped Guide is a succinct exploration of making seasonal living a priority. In 12 weekly lessons, she invites you to consider such goals as setting a seasonal intention, creating a seasonal refuge, seasonal healthy living, and journaling as a way to connect with the seasons.
Certain sections, like “Creating Creativity” really spoke to me. I’ve always been an avid knitter, but yet, when summer rolls around, I just can’t seem to pick up my needles. Rather than viewing this tendency as a fault, Kathie invites us to honor the seasonality of our creative urges, and truly indulge in what connects us to the season. For me, summer is about creating in my garden and connecting with nature and friends, not sitting quietly and knitting!
I also really appreciated the intention that was woven through the Fiercely D.I.Y. Guide to Seasonal Living. We are invited to dream, breathe, and write, and take steps as big, or as small as we’d like. The many quotes found throughout the book inspire and set the tone for the lesson. My favorite was this one:
” Your life is a sacred journey. And it is all about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way.”
– Caroline Adams
Kathie is a master recipe creator, so readers will be delighted to see that she’s included an entire section of seasonal recipes. Imagine savoring a snow pea stir-fry or an herbal honey infusion in spring, a cucumber feta salad in summer, an apple cornmeal cake in autumn, and a hearty squash chili in winter. These recipes, and more, await you!