First Hike of the Season – Spring (Wood Element)
Puffing up the steady incline
Legs bucking at the exertion
Breath catching, face reddening
Doubting myself and cursing myself at the same time
Why am I so out of shape
What was I thinking letting it get this bad
Removing myself from the center of attention
I focus on the wonders around
New plants pushing up through the dry ground
Delicate buds covering trees about to burst
Tiny birds dashing through the bush chasing each other
Ants marching in time never missing a step
Spiders plotting their next web
An abandon web along the trail
Connecting with Nature and my visiting friend
Both seem glad to be with me, both welcoming and warm
Nature reminding me it is time to shake off Winter and embrace the new
Time to stretch and push my body to move and strengthen
I too need to wake up from my Winter’s nap and embrace the new day.
By the end the difficulty melts away and the connection is all that counts.
I wake to the birds singing loudly in all directions. It is hard to know which ones as they seem to be all singing at once, at bit like being in a convention hall where everyone is talking at once louder and louder in an attempt to be heard. The birds sing of the newness of the world. The new growth everywhere is slightly lighter than the old. The colors are subtle but obvious, a lot of silvery white, pale yellow and an occasional deep maroon. Trees that look dead and bare from a distance are truly full of new life up close, they are heavy with new buds ready to burst into leaves and blooms announcing the arrival of the new season. In the mountains the Spring is truly MUD SEASON. All the underground springs that have been dried up for months burst forth once again. The ground above the springs becomes soft and wet. The road, South Beaver Creek is filled with soft wet spots that become damaged road from the springtime springs. It is a fact of life in the mountains and as the runoff runs it’s course the springs will dry up as will the roads and the ground so that mud season will fade away. But for now one must remove one’s shoes on entering the house in an attempt to preserve order and cleanliness. The air today is filled with fog and chill yet there is the promise of warmer weather not far off now. The air smells damp and rich with all the moisture and new growth that is wet with dew and fog. You don’t really know what to expect from the day as the sun could burst forth or snow could comes down from the heavy clouds that hang overhead, that is the reality of Spring in the mountains. The only sure thing is the mud!
Here mud season is official
The ground soaks up the moisture and builds a muck
Every where there is soft wet earth announcing the change
Bursting forth at will, in our driveway, all along the dirt road
The county so use to the phenomena they just put out signs
Warning damaged roads, and wait out the process
The springs will run their course and cease to exist soon enough
Shoes heavy with mud sit in mudrooms designed for this very reason
The air is rich with the smell of wet earth and new growth
Everything smells new and moist
Cars are never clean as they are spattered constantly with mud
Small hills and grooves develop in the road way creating obstacles
Drivers slow down recognizing the need for more caution than usual
Maybe the springs are nature’s way of alerting the humans to the change of seasons
One of the many signs that time is marching on and we are on to the next part of the cycle
The morning dawns in the canyon
Snow still lies about in the mountains soon to melt
The road erupts with new born springs flowing beneath the surface
The essence of Wood is that it is the Element of growth and planting of seeds to be nurtured and grown over the Spring and Summer, then harvested in Late Summer. Wood is the Element that is the origination of our vision, in body, mind and spirit. It is also the Element of movement which the tendons and ligaments help to facilitate. This is the Element of single-mindedness with a focusing on the vision forward. There is an optimism, newness and excitement of a vision, of knowledge of where it came from and where it’s going, with a knowing of how to get there. This Element, as is each element, is crucial in that it is the Mother of Fire and without it there would be no fuel for its child. As with each Element there is a wide variety of how this manifests in nature. There are millions of different types of woods in nature which can either be very flexible or very stiff. This is actually true of each wood at different points of its life cycle. Young wood is very green and flexible; it then strengthens with age and gains firmness, sense of purpose. In old age it becomes stiff and inflexible. The climate of Wood is wind which is nature’s way stripping away the unnecessary and doing its spring cleaning.
I see a lot of myself in this Element, in that when I am in balance I am full of ideas, plans for the future. For example the decision to be an acupuncturist was born of this time. Seven years ago I made the decision to change careers and pursue an education in Classical 5 Element Acupuncture. This was a big change for me as I had been successfully teaching for thirty-three years. The beauty was that as soon as the dream was formed, the knowledge of how to get there was totally available to me. I put into motion the necessary steps for retiring from teaching, found the necessary
pre-requisite classes within 5 minutes of my house and conveniently fell into a job with incredible flexibility. Even as I questioned the wisdom of entering a new career at this point of my life things fell neatly into place for the success of my plan. Now I am here pursuing my dream with a deep knowing that this is where I am meant to be at this point in time.
I also relate deeply to out of balance Wood as I have myself been mired in that dark inflexible, stuck place of depression. I have often fought the immobility, the inability to see beyond the hopelessness. There have been times when I felt that all was darkness and there was little reason to believe there was any thing beyond that black place. I was stuck in this very place when the Universe/ My Higher Power brought me to Emily Calvert, my first Five-Element acupuncturist for the first time. I felt talked out as far as traditional psychotherapy went. Emily helped me to talk, but also anchor the healing in my body. Her treatments helped me to discover and act on the potential within with confidence and a new found knowing of my own inner beauty. Interestingly there was a gradually lightening of my load and my world became brighter and more hopeful. It was a big step in my journey to realizing my potential and fulfilling it on a daily basis.