falling into balance

Longtime readers of this blog know that I am a summer baby, both in terms of birthdate and season preference. I enjoy living through all the seasons, but my favorite winter is the brief kind. For years I’ve failed to convince my family why we should vacation for the holidays. Christmas in Atlanta? Christmas in Barbados! Turks and Caicos! Costa Rica! Belize! All for nought.

Flowers are an added bonus. SK © 2014

Flowers are just an added bonus.
SK © 2014

Not surprisingly, one of my favorite seasonal junctions is the spring equinox. But not because I like the aesthetics of spring, which most people love. I only care about warmer weather; I would not care if spring looked exactly like summer.

In fact, my second-favorite Atlanta weather happens around the junction of fall equinox. The heat breaks; the humidity drops; the clearer air makes the sky a bit bluer. Being outside in the middle of the day is pleasant, as opposed to the time limits needed for scorching summer days.

Until recently, I had regarded spring and fall equinoxes as essentially the same. They are both about equal balance, and I like them both—ergo, the same.

I’m so unobservant sometimes. I finally noticed this year that I actually feel different on the two days. Though they are certainly similar, they are definitely not interchangeable.

I could try to make a meme of this (and then it might go viral and everyone would talk about it!), but, really, I would be borrowing too heavily from one of my favorites.

And there’s too much text anyway.

IN SPRING I’M LIKE…

morning:
Oh YES! FINALLY! I’m soooo ready for winter to END! This morning is a little chilly, but that’s fine! I’m so happy it’s warmer! I love SPRING!

noon:
What a BEAUTIFUL afternoon! It’s perfect out right now. It’s AMAZING!
I LOVE this moment! I LOVE TODAY!

night:
What a LOVELY evening! Just chilly enough for a coat. Right now is the BEST!

 ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

THEN IN AUTUMN I’M ALL…

morning:
Oh YES, I love this time of year! It’s a little chilly this morning, but that’s ok.
This
 afternoon will be GORGEOUS!

noon:
Autumn is the BEST! It’s absolutely PERFECT out right now. I LOVE this moment!

night:
It’s so nice out. Though not as warm as a few weeks ago. Back to coats at night.
And I need to find a scarf. It was a beautiful day though!

And thus the tension, as well as the diminishment in enthusiasm, I now see so clearly.

Yoga, as it often tends to do, contributes to the change. For years, I always considered the equinoxes the same because I never woke up early enough to experience the chill of September. (Back when I slept past 5:30am.) But now, I feel the absence of summer much earlier, when I am stiff and creaky (and thus whiny) until I have completed a few sun salutations. Whereas in summer, I feel warmed up before I even start my practice.

Now, overlay the above interior monologue with my pre-dawn sentiments on my way to the yoga studio:

6:00am in winter (cold and dark):
Oh my word, it’s still SO COLD. I am so ready for spring.
At least the studio will be much warmer than anywhere else.

6:00am in spring (chilly and dark):
FINALLY, it’s getting warmer! Practice feels so much better.

6:00am in summer (warm and semi-lit sky):
I FEEL AMAZING IT’S SO WARM I’M SO GLAD I LOVE SUMMER.

6:00am in autumn (chilly and dark):
Not super cold YET. I’ll warm up once I get moving.

To sum up:
spring equinox = complete, unmixed enthusiasm for the incoming season
fall equinox = mixed feelings about the transition between two seasons I like + dread of upcoming winter

Right. I am not just a summer baby; I am a winter hater, with the tiniest hints of incoming winter kickstarting my whining. I have done a lot of work towards maintaining equanimity in the face of external conflict, but not enough for my own internal tensions.

Seeing the transition clearly. SK  2014

Seeing the transition clearly.
SK 2014

Moreover, I have to acknowledge that winter has held the container for some of my deepest insights and greatest lessons. My resistance serves as a poignant indication that I like the wisdom, yet prefer to avoid the learning process.

Whitman rightly advised to “resist much” in matters of self-determination. But in this matter, I think I must do the opposite: welcome more and balance better.

SK © 2014

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About stephanie francesca

Stephanie Francesca lives a life of eclectic and ecstatic passion. In no particular order, she is a writer, yogini, musician, teacher, nomad, lover, thinker, reader, dancer. She strives to balance effort with surrender, precision with laughter. Live life, love live, live love.
This entry was posted in identity, nature, the South, yoga. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to falling into balance

  1. april groom says:

    As a traditional “winter hater” in the past… There is a REASON I moved from Ohio to Atlanta… and now, with the new challenge of the Bend, OR winters to come (we get snow! I’m now 20 minutes from a famous ski mountain – Mt. Bachelor!), I WILL remember your line of “welcome more and balance better.” I’m already knitting my hat (a little something to make the next 6-8 months cozier) with double wool yarn! So, I’m welcoming knitting, sweaters, layers, mittens, hats, and long underwear. I will NOT say the “f” word under my breath the whole season (on my way to church) like in my teenage years in Northeast Ohio. And, I’ll remember the EXQUISITE beauty of Bend and the PNW and this experimental compromise of my love of heat. (ah!) Oh, and hot tea! This fall and winter I will embrace it, explore it, drink it, and let it warm me until… the daffodils finally appear! Here’s a cup of tea to you, Stephanie. I enjoyed reading this! Happy winter soon to come! 🙂

    • Thank you, April! Way to embrace your present–I’m taking mental notes just reading your plans. One of my best friends currently lives in Seattle, and she loves non-summer. It helps, of course, that she grew up on Alaska. Her favorite things are hot teas, hot baths, down slippers, and visits to the Korean spa. I’m glad I have such great examples for welcoming and savoring the upcoming season.

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  4. Sues says:

    We are *SUCH* kindred spirits…
    Even our “Christmas in Belize!” chant seems to be falling on deaf ears, as well… :-/

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