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Kristin Armstrong Column April 2021

"Close your eyes and tilt your beautiful face toward the sun"

After a year of hunkering down in a pandemic capped off with a homebound week of ice, snow, power outages and no running water—I think it’s safe to say we are beyond ready for a new season. Spring cannot spring forth fast enough.

I notice my own season-shifting habits. Fresh flowers in my grocery cart on a regular basis. Red wine consumption tapering off. Pestering Brad, my landscape architect, with texts asking when he has time for me on his schedule. Trading my charcoal-goth nail polish in favor of pink toes and pale-pink fingers. Moving my ritualistic morning coffee and journal time to the screened porch. Thinking about dresses, and the progression from boots, to booties, to wedge sandals and flip-flops. Dreaming about having tan feet, and where and how and when I might be able to walk on the sand by the sea.

Humans are seasonal creatures.

I try to remind my friends and clients of this regularly, especially the ones who tend toward the frenetic. Yes, it is important to mind the calendar and the clock as needed to maintain employment and responsibilities. But deeper than that, our inner timekeeper aligns with the ancient days, when time was kept by the moon, the sundial, the stars, the tides and the changes in weather. Back when a fortnight was something other than a video game. Is it any wonder we silently resist and reset the alarm clock, the updates, the notifications, the Google calendar? We are designed to have a sense or a feel for time and flow with it, not be subjugated by it.

“To inhabit your badass self, with fullness and freedom and without apology, that is the season we prepare to enter.”

That is precisely why a shift in seasons is more than a change in temperature or attire. It is an attitudinal shift in mindset and a corresponding change in pattern or routine. It is the difference between honoring circadian rhythm and wearing blue light glasses as you work late. It is why organic fruits and vegetables are not available all year long, or tasteless when you press the issue. It is why some relationships serve only a particular season of life, and then resonate no longer. It is intuitively knowing when to make soup, and when to prepare gazpacho.

When we try to fight this, we pay.

Do we really want to eat peaches in December? Or pears or oranges in June? Do we really want to pretend that the mommy friends we made when our kids were little must match the grown-ass women we are today? Or that the marriage that worked when you were 20-something works when you are 50-something, if you haven’t done any work? Or that the well-worn patterns and programs of family systems serve us when we step into the fullness of Who We Are Today? That we want to keep dancing that familiar dance when we no longer even like the song?

Ideally, please, my darlings, we are all growing. Sometimes this resembles a seed, where the growth is silent and unseen, dark and beneath the surface. Some seasons feel dormant, like winter, buried underneath the earth and snow. Our branches stark and sharp and barren. A season of waiting. Other seasons we flower, we bear the fruit, we yield our harvest. We prepare the banquet table, and we dine.

This is what it is to eat gazpacho in August. To have hot-pink toenails in the sand. To have a partner whom you want to devour on the kitchen island of your empty nest, at long last, without shame or interruption. To spend a holiday with your family of origin and consider it a veritable celebration. To journey miles or spend late nights in deep conversation with sacred friends and not feel the need to explain yourself. To be truly happy for the good fortune of another’s expansion and happiness and abundance, because you are so focused on the gratitude for your own.

To inhabit your badass self, with fullness and freedom and without apology, that is the season we prepare to enter. We have been through a long winter, my friends.

It’s time to welcome spring.

Close your eyes and tilt your beautiful face toward the sun.

And when you are ready, open your eyes.