I have always thought of January as being nestled deep within the heart of winter. Much of what I have noticed in the natural world around me has seemed to be in tune with this idea: the bare branches of trees, the plants cut back, the red and dark purple berries. Plus, my own desire to hibernate in my cave has been strong!
At the same time, I can’t help but notice that there are hints of the coming spring all around, even if the full flush of a brighter season is still quite a way off. Fresh little leaves popping up out of low stone walls and even the surprise of cherry blossom. Meanwhile, the days are staying lighter just a little bit longer.
These pages from the past month’s Micro-seasons Creative Journey are also the last pages of the journal. What a rich and eye-opening journey it has been. I have come full circle: the snowdrops and crocuses from last year’s early entries are making a reappearance both within my journal and out there in the world.
I have been feeling chirpy but quite tired. More of the things I had arranged seem to be cancelling themselves. I am glad for the chance to do relatively little and to come back to myself.
Everything in the garden has been cut back for the winter. Suddenly I noticed these bright red stems. Were they always red? Or have they just turned red recently? I will have to pay attention when the leaves and flowers return. I am hibernating. Very few plans and very little activity. What a relief!
Some of the leaves are so tiny, growing out of stones and low walls. The shape of kidneys – are they nourishing medicine for kidneys too? I will have to find out. After a three month stint, my cough finally seems to be lifting.
There have been some gloriously sunny days this micro-season. Perhaps that’s what has invited the cherry trees in Dartmouth Park to blossom. I’ve been spending more time than usual indoors due to my foot flaring up quite strongly – not so sunny!
This berry bush on my way to the park is only capturing my attention now that so much else has pulled back for the winter. I can’t say how long these berries have been growing. I love how some plant-life reminds us of winter while others nudge us towards spring.
This is how I feel in myself: aware of all sorts of upcoming plans yet still wanting to hibernate and be quiet as if I am gathering my reserves deep within the earth of myself, so that I will be ready to open my doors and windows once again when spring comes.
I spent most of this micro-season downing flagon-fuls of echinacea in an attempt to avoid catching Keerti’s cold. By season’s end, I have indeed caught it and am now surrendering to nature and to my body. Meanwhile, these little beauties have popped up in the garden.
One of the many things I have learned on this journey is that everything is constantly beginning, constantly ending, constantly becoming.
Here are the crocuses again, one of the first friends I made on this journey.
Thank you to the plants. Thank you to the animals. Thank you to the humans. Thank you to the mysterious force that gives us all life.
And so we have come to the end of this particular cycle of micro-seasons and the beginning of a new one!
A big thank you to Kathleen Brigidina, for being so encouraging and for being the catalyst to starting this project a year ago. I loved meeting you at our Treesisters Inner-view last year! This creative journey was one of the sparks that came out of our conversation.
Thank you so much to two amazing fellow travellers who have been charting the journey through the micro-seasons in such creative and inspiring ways. Your posts have been so rich and nourishing. It has been wonderful to have such creative companions:
Fellow Treesister, Kat Robertson, has written the most incredibly rich blogposts filled with stunning photos of her natural surroundings, reflections, writings, mud art and more! To see her wonderful posts, check out her blog here.
Dear friend and fellow artist, Tammy Hanna, has been charting the micro-seasons with gorgeous comics that I want to look over again and again. You can find Tammy’s micro-seasons posts and more of her beautiful art here.
Thank you so much to YOU, wonderful friends, who have followed along with this creative journey. Each message and discussion has made these micro-seasons so rich and has opened out this exploration across the globe.
I plan to share video flip-through of the entire journal within the next couple of weeks, along with some reflections the things I have learned as I have connected with the natural world around me through the changing seasons. In the meantime, you can see the posts from each month of the Micro-seasons Creative Journey here.
I wish you all a wonderful February as the cycle begins anew…