27 Dec Goodbye Summertime
As a Northwest native, I spent most of my childhood growing up under the cloudy Oregon skies, right up the street from our NW location, in fact. I adored summertime, the trips to Sauvie’s Island, Washington Park, a walk down the street to NW 23rd (which not that long ago was considered a sketchy area) where hobos, artists and Portland’s wealthiest collided in awkward moments. My parents taught me well in seeing the humor in those moments that to some might seem threatening or worrisome. Well, maybe it was my parents… who knows, maybe it was the warm and windy days of summer and the lack grey skies – but summertime’s the best.
After many unhappy winters and many, many years of reflection, I realized Summer was the season that always felt like… well, “me”, confident, balanced, like everything was going to be okay despite external circumstances. What is it about that warm fiery ball up the sky that resonates inside of me?
I’m not an expert on Ayurvedic Medicine, but I am loosely familiar with the belief in many ancient traditions that one key to optimal health is the internal balance of the elements within nature- water, earth, wind, fire ( and in some traditions, wood). I know I am connected to nature, to seasonal cycles and weather changes, probably more than I realize. I think we all are.
In the cloudy depths of winter, and also when the season starts to cool down and change, I always find myself longing to snuggle up beside a fire, feel it’s glow and gaze into the flames that reminds me of the distant sun.
My reality is I don’t have a fireplace in my home, so that is a rare opportunity for me. But I am all about finding creative solutions. So, I have discovered the simple joy of lighting candles in my home in order to connect to that fire element. I like to light a single one in the morning as soon as I I wake up, and many around the house at night. Sometimes a word or a mantra comes to me in the morning, I look into the flame and repeat it as a focus for the day.
If you’re at all affected by the cool damp weather slowing you down, or clouding your mind, I suggest the simple pleasure of lighting the tiny fire of a candle to help connect to that fire element inside of you.
– Hilary Spray