At the end of a long, cold winter, I am really looking forward to spring. I am dreaming of the flower beds popping with color as the spring bulbs push their way through the cold soil to warmer days, assuring me that Spring is finally here.
I was reminded on a webinar I was listening to how far we have come from living in the natural rhythms of life that the Creator made for our benefit. Our access to heat, food, lighting, and everything we really need to live comfortably in whatever weather or season we find ourselves has made us become like hamsters on a wheel, unable to get off getting exhausted in the process.
Our ancestors and native peoples used to live according to the seasons and rhythms of the days, the cycles of the sun and the moon, and the earth’s seasons. My grandparents would live by the cycle of the day, getting up at sunrise, eating at noon, having a siesta in the heat of the day, then working until mid to late afternoon, when they would stop, visit with neighbors, and eat an early supper before locking themselves in for the night at 6.00 pm, they did not have TV or social media. They may have listened to the radio before settling down to sleep. Rising with the sun the next day.
On a visit to Arizona, I heard how the Diné people lived in harmony with nature and the seasons. The entrance of their hogans faces east so that they can greet the dawn and pray to their Creator. The Old Testament Israelite’s entrance of their Tabernacle also faced east; sunrise was the time for the morning sacrifice of sweet incense, which symbolized the people’s prayers. Do we make time each morning to pray and listen to the voice of our Creator?
The hours between sunrise and sunset are the time to work and do the chores of the day. Time to prepare, sow seeds or create new ideas, nurture and produce and wait for the time to reap the rewards of our hard labor, or our monthly paycheck!
As the sun sinks in the west, it is time to close off the activities of the day. The Israelites had their evening sacrifice at sunset to thank the Lord for the day. This daily rhythm is one that we seem to have forgotten, working late into the night on projects or double shifts. Fetching and carrying children to extra activities, rushing into the grocery store to get supplies, we all do it. While in I was in Arizona I painted a synthesis of the harmony of living in the Sacred Rhythms, which I have posted here.
The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth, One is nearer God’s Heart in a garden Than anywhere else on earth. Dorothy Frances Gurney
My grandfather planted with the moon’s seasons; there were times when he knew that it was better to plant than others. Some plants require a certain amount of moonlight, such as cherries, to grow optimally. The sea’s tides are governed by the phases of the moon and the gravitational pull of the moon. Our moods can be affected by the moon, just as a woman’s monthly cycles affect her emotions.
“There is a season for everything under heaven” King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiates. Spring as a time of birthing, renewal, and growth. Daffodils are one of the first bulbs to flower, and lambs are often a symbol of spring.
Summer is a time for youth, the growing pains of learning and working when our muscles and bodies are strong—a time to explore and tend to the land, family life and produce. Autumn is the time to harvest what we have produced. Our harvest may be bountiful or thin according to the effort we put in and the generosity of nature, and the seasonal rains. Winter is a time for rest and preparation for a new season as the year turns again. It can also symbolize old age and night, preparing our spirit to be released back to our Creator. I love the simplicity of the natural rhythms. A Diné Hogan has an exit on the north side which allows the departing spirit a way out of the hogan when someone dies.
I wonder what it would be like if we could live by the natural rhythms, our Creator gave us again? COVID has disrupted our normal way of life, so we have adapted by living even closer with technology sitting for hours at a time in front of our screens. Would it help if we were to become more in tune with our daily rhythms and need for relaxation and sleep and switch everything off at sunset? Or the monthly rhythms when maybe our moods are affected, and our energy levels are affected? Should our work reflect the season of life we find ourselves in, either in the annual or life cycle? Have we moved so far away from our Creator’s design for our lives?
Do you think we could ever get back to a place where we could live in harmony with nature, the seasons, and the Sacred Rhythms we were given? Do let me know what you think, I would be really interested to know.