by Minisa Crumbo Halsey
Time is many things and measured by many calendars but the one held in most common regard can be said to be the ‘clock face’ of the seasons. The minute, hour and second hands are the biological and energetic timekeepers by which we all mark our days and many are their signs. This column originates in a moderate band of the northern hemisphere of America, “America, Sweet Medicine Land,” as Buffy St. Marie, Cree Nation, so aptly named and sang. The four seasons are clearly and often equally divided into four discrete groups of three month duration. The temperate southern hemisphere would be reversed, taking into account latitude and longitude and prominent defining continental features. Ah, the sweet defining features that make, define and divide the face of our Mother’s ancient Medicine Wheel. The defining features of season, flora, fauna, weather, fire and flood. Who can resist reading the signs and portents of this fascinating face as surely our life blood and breath as that of any and all other sentient and non-sentient beings search for new and old keys that will be today’s new resources.
Many of the new resources actually originate and are documented from countless histories, arriving and bursting with apparent wild abandon, countless as the stars in number and as aristocratic in origin.. all jockeying in rampant and luxuriant survival mode for resources and successful expression. Let us take a short look (or a long one, time permitting) back, tracing the recent past to one of natures mysterious and seemingly erratic seasonal stagings called the three ‘little winters’ of spring, and glean the little winters for stories, bent twigs and frost shriveled sign of whence we came so nearly past, for survival hints such as the incipient preparation for courtship talks (one flower to another), managing core strength to meet day and night changes, bearing new life in the form of seed, meeting the effects of declining sun upon the body and bearing up to meet the more serious changes of fall and winter before coming this way again, next year.
A look back at our history should encompass a full year back and then a full year forward to initiate a complete and interesting perspective.
Let us take a journey backward in time and move into the mind of the ‘little winter’s’ as precursor to the season of spring. For would we remember that in summer we are diagonally opposite and therefore closer to the season of winter than any other season.
The week of redbud winter is the first of the last three little winters of spring.
The little winters that girdle the mid continent of the North American. It is a narrow swath of land sandwiched between the lower ice age sheet to the north and the temperate zones to the south. Between these irregular boundaries lie 10 or 12 climate zones in miniature. Within each distinct layer, which measures about 20 miles deep, north to south, are very different weather patterns, rain and snow fall, temperatures, first and last frost dates, and vegetation.
Spring tends to arrive early and autumn extends late into the growing season here. As nothing happens suddenly, permanently or all at once in the the natural world spring holds a few surprises with the final three little winters which are named for the bloom of the moment.
The redbud tree is the first of three hardy indigenous hard wood trees to bloom while the surrounding hillsides, thickets and bottom land slough offer the ideal shade and moisture conditions. The redbud blooms magenta against the prevailing gray wood. These welcome blossoms appear as a kind of deep value, scattered pink smoke that is almost completely camouflaged by it’s randomness. Wild, the seeds are wind naturalized in dry pea like pods. Slow to mature and short lived, they are the first predictable harbingers of the three slow walking spring winters.
Following soon after is the week of dogwood winter. The Mother is still primarily quiet and gray, slowly warming deep and preparing for the pitched growth which is still mostly tightly furled buds and leaves. This has been our very recent history as well, shared with the white, forested, dogwood flowering tree, which is busy measuring, waiting, counting and advancing it’s agenda on every secret and obvious front available. And yet, there remains one final winter to traverse as the Father Sky Sun continues to build and strengthen his sky ladder, staging platform growths from high to low and low to high..an unbroken band of constantly downloading and uploading source information that defines and underpins our interactive creative connection with the Divine.
Blackberry winter is the last little winter before the full on spring transition loosens the pent up growth potential that carries the freight and weight of the entire previous years stored effort in root and seed memory… the entire weight of last year, and the eons of fractalizing DNA activity that went before. Is it any wonder that the season of spring advances like a heavily loaded train pulling out of a station.
Blackberry winter will see some of the last light frosts and cold nights but the white blackberry flower is hardy and often marks the arrival of Easter. Drifts of snow in the high country may bury blooming daffodils and drive Easter egg hunts indoors in the mountains where snow melt is just beginning to form rivulets running down rocky slopes. We hold back. Extreme weather of all descriptions might be found at this time. Tornados spring out of warm southern winds meeting with cold northern winds, Pacific fronts bring wind and rain, snow over the higher elevations, unseasonal heat can promote drought and fire conditions, floods and thunder storms can arise from seemingly any direction and the hard ‘male rains’ walk the land, carrying their awakening drumbeat upon face of the Mother Earth alternating with the softer ‘female rains’ who come softly out of the fogs and mists reminding us of ‘when the earth was young’. May we renew and prepare as well for the creation time is hard upon us.
And then the summer comes, by the natural calendar presented in this writing, in the third week of April. And now, we are well within the season but still reeling from recent history. Spring is an unruly season, full of chaos, creation and uncertainty, often containing a scarcity of resources for all, creating an urgency to live. This is where we find ourselves and now, as the seemingly sudden emergences can begin to relax, perhaps so can we. It is good to pause and look back at the little winters for here we can perceive our shared plant histories of competition and desired proliferation while yet held within the hand of the Mother Earth and the Father Sky Sun. These looks back reveal measured progress in the larger contexts of the Medicine Wheel Teachings as the high drumbeat of the summer season offers assurances of primal growth in Spirit from the Earth to the Heavens in this, the season of the most high and exuberant growth potentials.
EB is the trecena where high potential growth arises energetically from the fertile gene pool of the Mother Earth. We rise to meet a renewed seasonal ladder of light extended earthward from the Father Sky Sun by which we may all traverse toward within the Evolution of Consciousness and Unity with Prime Creative Source.
Let each of know the seasonal histories of whence we came, draw sustenance and calm; draw strength, knowledge and comfort from that continuity. Let us also draw health, courage and bravery to meet every opportunity and challenge that this season offers by which to manifest and seed our highest visions through the coming seasons to meet again the fruit of THIS harvest for yet another season, next year on the Beautiful Mother Earth and the Resplendent Father Sky Sun.
AHO ..MAY IT BE SO, NOW AND FOREVER MORE IN BALANCE AND HARMONY SAID.