Life Patterns #4: follow the seasons
A pattern language is a method of describing good design practices or patterns of useful organization within a field of expertise. This post is the fourth pattern in a language describing a slow, simple and “light” style of living for challenging times.
In the modern urbanized settings where most of us live today, it can be easy to neglect the seasons. But this is a mistake. The seasonal cycle of the natural world supplies a rhythm against which we can structure our lives.
The changing seasons help us to mark the passage of time. Their rhythm has an aesthetic component – spring flowers, autumn leaves – that promotes both mindfulness and simple happiness.
Harmonizing with the environment in this way makes life easier in practical terms as well. Beautiful weather provides us with an obvious cue to get outside. Hunkering down, to an extent, when winter hits can provide the occasion for rest and reflection. Eating with the seasons means that food is likely to be at its best and is easier to source locally.
Ultimately, living in this way can remind us of our place within the universe – insignificant, to be sure, but nonetheless a part of the vastest of symphonies.
Of course, there are climates in which seasonal variations in nature are subtle. In such regions, we must make a greater effort to attune ourselves to changes in weather, temperature and flora. And we shouldn’t be dogmatic in our adherence to nature’s rhythms: sometimes in life we need to cut against the grain. But as a general rule, acknowledging and playing nice with seasonal flows is a highly beneficial practice.
Therefore, listen for and sync up with the music of the seasons, as if playing in time with the beat of an expert drummer.