As we enter new seasons there are things we cast off from the months before and those we pick up. Rhythms that happen naturally or that we intentionally seek out. So, as we’re well and truly now immersed in the blossom of Spring; the days have lengthened and we’re enjoying a bit of milder weather, I thought I’d gather a few intentional ways for us to enjoy and take hold of this gorgeous season.
With so many things going on during term time, we have had a very slow Easter break. As I have posted I have realised that I have not taken as many photos of my girls…something I think I need to change. I used to join in with a couple of blogs that documented a portrait a week of your children and I found it a lovely way to see them grow. My blog has evolved into a space which has things other than family life and in some sense that has been right, but in my photography I have stopped the one thing I’ll want to look back on when they’re grown…photos of them when they were little.
That is my self placed challenge this spring – to photograph my girls in their own seasons of life and to capture them, not to share necessarily into this space but simply to record their paths.
So, after that bit of self reflection, lets get down some rhythms we might intentionally include in our dailies. I don’t know if you’re anything like me: I intend to do a lot of good stuff but actually getting around to it can be a different thing. I find if I plan new rhythms into my days then it more easily becomes a natural part of life.
And that’s the heart of it…we need to put a bit of thought into it. Rhythms need planned for. If you’re a list maker write it down! For you who are more spontaneous, include new rhythms along with the things you definitely want/need to get into your day and let the rest spontaneously emerge from that!!
So, here are a few thoughts…you might have more and if you do I’d love to hear.
I put it out to some folk on Instagram and I got a few ideas:
@l_maita – going out for evening walks as its lighter for longer
@lewesmap – going to the beach and having ice cream
@fourbearsandme – hunting for bluebells in Spring
So simple – nothing needed, just getting out in the fresh air. Opening the doors of windows of your house and hearing the birds outside. Listening for the little signs of spring and watching as the trees start to bud and gain that hue of green. Noticing the flowers waken up.
Be more active and get the bikes out from under the dust in the garage. We have spent a lot of time on our bikes this Easter…cycling for ice cream, out to a friends…or simply just for a cycle around the park. Everyone feels so good afterwards and enjoys the ice cream that little bit more!!
Bring Spring in!
When you’re out and about look for any greenery or ‘small’ branches of blossom or lilac that you could prune and bring indoors. Gather a few flowers from your garden and create a mini posy or treat yourself to some seasonal flowers from a local florist. I decided this year that I was going to plant some more flowers in my garden that I could intentionally pick to bring inside. I’ve made my first trip to the garden centre and am planning another one soon!
One way I love bringing the outside in is to make a wreath. I had often felt this was a Christmas thing to do but of recent I’ve been using it more seasonally and I currently have a spring (albeit now a dried one) wreath hanging at my back door. I posted it on Instagram and there is a wee tutorial here if you are interested!
Clear the inside out
Set aside a day to clear away the heavy coats, the gloves and scarves (although if you live anywhere like us then maybe keeping them somewhere handy is a good idea!!!). I listened to a podcast by Slow Your Home and how on the first day of the holidays Brooke cleared the kids rooms from any ‘out of season’ clothes or anything that was particularly worn and torn (toys included) and throughly cleaned them. I liked this – I might not manage it on the first day of the hols but I thought it was a good marker to give everything a good clear out from season to season.
I have a whole other post planned on cleaning – yes cleaning (!?!) – I never thought I would think so much about it but I have found when I plan then it seems less somehow. It also seems to take the need for doing a huge deep clean out of the picture because you are cleaning more throughly, more regularly. This has been a bit of a journey for me, it’s not something I particularly enjoy (does anyone?) but I like a tidy house and have discovered over the years that my natural tendency is to tidy rather than clean. When following my plan I have discovered it is easier to declutter and clear and I have both the physical and mind space to do it – it doesn’t seem like a mammoth task.
Take Opportunities to Stop
This is the one I need to learn most and is potentially a rhythm for every season. I read a quote by Jim Elliot on @lillalivetandme:
Wherever you are, be all there.
I love this. In an age when we are so distracted by our phones and our minds, even as adults, have a low attention span at times, it demands us to focus. To listen intentionally. To enjoy and savour the moment with a child or to allow a conversation with a spouse or friend to go to a deeper level. It might mean to stop and listen to the birds, admire the flowers or the bluebells in the forest. As small and cheesy as some of these things might seem to be, they are the things that nourish our souls, that allow us to feel deeply, to connect and to ponder and think for ourselves.
As the seasons shift and we are carried with the different ebbs and flows of Spring, find the things that you would like to become part of your seasonal rhythm. Are they sustainable for all the seasons or is there a spring shift.
For me, rhythms are a part of what I would like daily life to look like…what I want our family focus to be, the things that keep life stable. And for me they are often spiritual; a searching of the soul. You might be different and the areas you value different but I would encourage you to set aside time this Spring to consider your rhythms. Those that make your life what it is…some you might have to shed and others pick up but whatever you choose may they be nourishing for your soul.
Happy Spring xx