An Appreciation of the Season’s Subtle Changes

There is something magical about how being a practitioner of Chinese Medicine. It is not only an exciting daily work, but it also provides a way of life that gives an ever-increasing appreciation of the seasonal shifts. You might note subtle shifts in the air or the color of the leaves, or the temperature, but there is an accompanying internal shift that we need to mark to stay healthy in the seasons. It’s listening to these shifts, which provides you with your internal wisdom on what you need throughout the year.

The Chinese calendar marks the shifts in two-week periods, so that every season has 6 terms of 2 weeks. For instance, today November 7 is the first term of winter. It is the moment when most of the grains are harvested and stored. Some animals begin to hibernate. During this first week of Winter in some parts of China there would be animal sacrifices to heaven, the family ancestors, and to the earth. There are many other ways of community celebrating this shift.

For me, I notice it is going quickly from hot to cold each day as it always does between seasons. And I notice every tree that still holds its colorful leaves and I accept that they will hurriedly be coming down. I like taking a pause here and waiting to watch the color of leaves piling up before they all fall.

I smile as I greet the coming of Winter. Enjoy the changes.

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Photo by Arlene Berger 2014

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