the soothing story of the seasons

spring tree holding buds to the sun

Regardless of whether you live in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere, many of us are in the same situation this time of year. Temperatures and weather have found their annual peak (cold or hot), and many of us feel weary with a desire for a change. I’ve heard the same cries from Australia and Canada: enough is enough!


Each winter, my husband counts down the weeks until crocuses erupt from beneath the snow. Last autumn, he planted a hundred crocus bulbs in our front lawn so we could watch them burst forth like a colorful celebration of spring.

Here in New England, the emergence of crocuses and snowbells are an early sign that the earth is awakening from months of cold slumber. At the time of this writing, he says we have “three weeks until crocuses”. Daffodils, tulips, and bleeding hearts follow the crocuses and snowbells like an orchestrated procession of blooms that lead us into summer.


I have taken his perspective a step farther.

February, I realized, is the same as August. Well, maybe not the same as August, the opposite of August. February is the anti-August! August is the anti-February! What kind of nonsense is this?

Both February and August occur two months after a solstice, which is the epitome of our distance or closeness to the Sun, respectively, depending on which side of the equator you live. Winter solstice occurs about December 21 and summer solstice occurs about June 21 each year.

I find it fascinating that when it feels that we are at the most intolerable, extreme situation such as a February or an August, we are already two months past the worst of it and are on our way back to a place of balance, the equinox. The story of the seasons is a great message for positivity!


Both February and August are also one month before an equinox: that twice-yearly moment around March 20 and September 23 when day and night are of equal duration. The equinox is when the see-saw of the seasons balances before the next season rises into being.  The axial tilt of the Earth makes it feel like we are teetering back and forth, centered on the fulcrum of the Sun.

20140426_sun peeking through spring sky

In February, remember how August feels and how quickly the season shifts within just a few weeks.

All of this to say — do not be weary in February. We are at the bottom of the season, the very height of cold or hot, a month before it all turns around. Take heart, my friends…


4 thoughts on “the soothing story of the seasons

  1. Just a month before my ridges and hollows are filled with the frothy white blossoms of the service berry trees, the fuchsia blooms of the redbuds and then just a few weeks later, the white dogwoods drift like clouds over the hillsides – I will take heart and keep my head up! Hurray for crocus and all of springs charms – smiles

  2. Beautiful and informative and interesting, as always, kat.

    And I’m feeling so much better now! Spring at the end of winter’s tunnel! Yay!

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