This is time of year, my creativity seems to transform. Becomes almost corporeal—that is, more hands-on, more nurturing, more intensely connected to the rhythms of nature. Instead of spending my days in the writing room tinkering with poetry or experiments in collage, I find myself outdoors tending to the garden, to the wildlife that lives there, going for long bicycle rides, and even cooking more. Making the most of seasonal produce, fresh herbs, and other quintessential flavors of summer.
There is, to my mind, something almost criminal about not taking advantage of these gorgeous summer days as we are able. A thought that struck me on my bike ride this morning: had I chosen not to set an hour aside to experience this sunny day, the warm summer breeze, my heart pounding, fresh air in my lungs, how ungrateful I would be. How terribly ungrateful I would be not to make full use of the season—and of this body—everyday as I am able and to honor the many gifts they give to me.
The same, of course, can be said for our own seasons. Indeed, I sometimes think if I had one piece of advice to offer younger women, that would be it: don’t try to rush your own cycles and seasons. Don’t think of them as inconvenient or as if they need to be manipulated. Don’t squander them, and don’t wish them away. That’s one of the most foolish things you can do. Of course, I realize that 25-year-old me would never have understood that. Would not have known what it meant to experience the cycles and seasons of my body as sacred. To be sure, 30-year-old me wouldn’t have understood that, either. But almost-40-year-old me (or, almost 39, to be precise), knows it very well. And I am certain this is an understanding I’ll continue to grow into, that will deepen and transform over time.
This is the same reason I’ve decided not to color my hair, you know. In honor of the season. I don’t have a head full of grays yet…but I’ve got more than a few. Just enough that my stylist and I periodically revisit the to color, or not to color conversation. And my response is always the same: I’ll color my hair only if I feel I absolutely must. That is, if I look in the mirror and really dislike what I see. But, until that day comes (and I hope it never does) I have every intention of wearing my grays as elegantly and with as much dignity as possible.
If the seasons of my life are sacred, it is my responsibility to treat them as such. Not to fight them and not to wish them away. After all, whether we’re talking about the seasons of the year or the seasons of our bodies, they are only sacred because they are fleeting.