Winter into Spring Seasonal Resources

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Winter into Spring Seasonal Resources

The “energetic medicine” of late winter is not the same as early winter. While pre-solstice early winter is about greeting the darkness with a willingness to rest and relax into the mystery that surrounds us (rather than being afraid of the dark), post-solstice winter is about the slow steady return of the light. Between winter solstice and spring equinox, it’s still more dark than light! It’s a long haul forward, and so late winter practices focus on strengthening the pilot light in the lower dantian, to prepare us for eventual emergence into light and action in the spring. 

In creating this Late Winter not-yet-Spring resource blog, I am aware that many of us live in different parts of the country—or of the world—and so the seasonal expressions are not quite the same for all of us. Here in Vermont, it’s frequently 20 below zero (I’m talking Fahrenheit) and covered in snow, with many more storms to come. Further south, the tips of crocuses are already visible. In the Southwest, spring does not mean “mud season” the way that it might in other areas—and in Australia, it’s actually autumn. 

I’ve provided below a sample of various arts that may strengthen our Late Winter not-yet-Spring practices, and they span from the deep Kidney yang-building for a winter that seems like it’s going to be around for a whole lot longer, to the awakening and emergence of earliest spring.

Bruce Springsteen “Prove It All Night”

Winter, and the Water element, is about power that is unexpressed, held in reserve—and Wood in the springtime shows that power as it is expressed in action. The transition from winter into spring balances the expression of power with the sense that there is a whole lot more still held in reserve…  like an endless resource behind our movement forward. This old video of Bruce Springsteen and his band definitely helps me connect with my Kidney yang in a long slow steady burn, as my imagination (flight of the hun) awakens from the depths.

(For more about the unfolding of our power, see our self-guided CEU Intro to Kidney 1-6.)

Patricia Barber “Light My Fire”

For those who like their Kidney yang tonified with an even more slow and smoky late winter dream-depth, Patricia Barber’s jazz improvisational cover of “Light My Fire” is definitely not the light and easy-breezy Fire of summer. “The time to hesitate is through…” and Patricia Barber’s deep voice delivers this invitation to move forward with no rush, no hurry, full of all the potency of winter’s endurance. 

(For more about the kidney yang and the life force, see our self-guided CEU Kidney 2-11-16 Like an Engine.)

Pete Seeger “We Shall Overcome”

As winter moves into spring—but not completely, not yet—we need to be patient and persistent. The truly empowered visionary does not rush. Patricia Barber and Bruce Springsteen show us what Water looks like as it slowly comes to a boil and creates the “steam” that pushes new growth forward. Pete Seeger shows us what Wood looks like with Water’s deep calm strength behind it.

(For more about the early emergence of Wood’s humble strength, see our self-guided CEU Liver 1 Rising Again.)

Artist David Hockney

There’s a lot of wonderful visual art for late winter, and for the slow turning from winter into spring, starting with David Hockney’s famous 25-part work, The Arrival of Spring 2013:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/apr/18/david-hockney-yorkshire-spring-drawings (follow this link to an article with more about his work and a closer look at the individual drawings)

Photographer Francesca Miller

Francesca Miller’s five-part composite image of winter into spring is both real and surreal.

Sculpture

The strenuous emergence of gorgeous men from walls appears to be a very popular theme in sculpture, arguable a winter-into spring theme. Be sure to view the entire series of images on the My Modern Met website.

Sometimes these men are gigantic, and emerge directly from the sleeping ground:

Poetry: Lines from T.S Eliot’s The Waste Land

In the Wasteland, poet T. S. Eliot’s famous declaration of April as the cruelest month makes remaining in winter seem preferable: 

I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.

Summer surprised us…

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish?…

That corpse you planted last year in your garden,

Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?

Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?

Artist: Simon Beck

I love winter, and the snow, and the long slow time of building strength in reserve internally, long before anything shows on the surface. I’m not in a hurry for spring to come yet. I’m happy like this guy, out walking in the snow:


For more on how to make the most of each season, join Thea at the Spring Wood Retreat on April 2, 2022.

Got any late winter or winter-into-earliest spring art, music, or poetry to share? To join the discussion, find us on my Perennial Medicine discussion listserv (all are welcome).

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