Stay bundled in spring; stay cool in autumn

Red buds and blue sky. A day of sun, a day of wind, and now a day of soft dark rain.

The time between the spring equinox and Beltane, the Easter & Passover season, is a time of vulnerability, of birds returning, of restraint.

A Chinese saying goes, “Bundle up in spring; stay cool in autumn.” In the early months of spring, our yang (heat and energy) is running low. Perhaps you too feel a bit pallid and dispirited by the end of winter? So we must keep bundled to nurture the remaining heat we have, to keep our immune systems strong, and to rebuild our energies as spring unfolds.

The opposite goes for autumn. At that time, we have all the accumulated yang of summer’s heat and sun and can afford to spend it breezily in light garments and long days. But let’s not talk of autumn now. Now is a time of bundling and boundaries.

Lu Buwei, in his 3rd century almanac, writes that in the first month of spring, boundaries and borders between fields must be made clear and kept in good repair. The farmers survey the plains, streams, and marshes to determine which soils are most suitable to grow the five grains. Soon they will plant their seeds, but now is the time for planning, patience, and clarity: to maintain your boundaries and decide what it is you would like to grow.

Keep cozy in your coat like the fuzzy outer shell of the little red bud. Slowly, tenderly, painstakingly, we are becoming.

Samara Reigh