This year, I’d like to use my creativity as a way to get outdoors and connect with nature in my everyday life. My plan is to document the changes in the season, in nature, and within myself in relation to all of this.
I want to make this journey because I seem to connect most with nature when I am out of the city, in the woods or by the sea. The majority of my days, however, are spent at home in London where I tend to get quite urban and spend much of my time indoors.
As a structure I am very attracted to the 72 micro-seasons from ancient Japan. It seems so true that every week within the larger season is a season unto itself. One week the daffodils are popping up. Another week the birds are suddenly so much louder in the mornings! And to create a page every 5 or 6 days feels often enough but not too often. It’s important that this project is something that can be sustained over the course of a year.
I hand-bound a book specially for this project containing exactly 72 pages. I decorated the covers with acrylic paint and Posca paint pens. I then added a coat or two of varnish as a protective layer. I’m planning on taking this little book on many nature jaunts!
For each micro-season I plan to draw a tree, plant, or flower from my surroundings and write a small journal entry documenting what I am seeing in the natural world around me and also what I am feeling within myself in relation to this. Each micro-season has a beautiful name – Hibernating Creatures Open Their Doors and The North Wind Brushes the Leaves are two of my favourites. Who knows, perhaps I will create my own names as I go along, reflecting my experience.
So how did this project come about? I have had the idea to create a nature project for some time now but wasn’t sure how or when this would take shape. Then I spoke my thoughts out loud during my recent TreeSisters interview with Kathleen Brigidina and something came to life.
I originally joined the TreeSisters reforestation organisation because I wanted to deepen my connection to nature and to the trees. With Kathleen’s enthusiasm and encouragement it felt perfect to offer this as a project to other TreeSisters in case they would like to join me on this journey.
If any of you feel similarly inspired to join me for this creative journey through the seasons, please do. Nothing could make me happier! In addition to charting my progress within the TreeSisters community, I will be posting my micro-season journal pages here on the blog. I would love to hear from you if you decide to join in. Let me know in the comments below!
I can also heartily recommend that you take a look at the beautiful TreeSisters website. It is such an incredible source of empowerment and inspiration, reforesting the planet and strengthening women and sisterhood all around the globe.
If you are interested in learning more about the micro-seasons, there is a great iPhone app called 72 Seasons and Liza Dalby has written a beautiful memoir based on the micro-seasons called East Wind Melts the Ice.
The cycle of micro-seasons begins again today (Feb 4th) and with Imbolc signifying the beginning of Spring yesterday (Feb 3rd), this feels like the perfect time to start. Would you like to join me?