For everything there is a season, A time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Whatever our religion or beliefs, we all experience the changing of seasons. Here, in England, it is feeling very autumnal despite it being mid-August. The sun is lower in the sky, and I have spied a few bejewelled spiders webs early in the morning when the scent of dew on grass reminds me of camping or the first day back at school. I love September. Although it is decades since I lived by the rhythm of school terms, to me, September always feels like a new beginning.
I host a weekly chat on Twitter #FriSalon. Last week the topic was the impact of summer on our writing. August, is traditionally the month of holidays, a time when business slows down. In the past, factories closed; school holidays were originally planned so that children could assist with bringing in the harvest. Although some of the writers in our chat were required to work harder in August due to work pressures (not necessarily writing), the majority saw it as a time to unwind, to relax with family and friends. We talked about the natural cycle for writers – how ideas could flow triggering great productivity, and the times between when ideas could not be forced. Recognising when we need to take a break from writing to refill our creative well and sometimes to just rest.
Everything in nature has a season, these invisible rhythms flow through every living thing. Often our moods match the time of year, a lethargy and wish to hibernate in the winter, a surge of energy in the spring, but we also experience our own cyclical changes. I have always been driven to achieve my goals and impatient with myself when I feel as though I am failing. Learning to be kind to myself is an ongoing challenge for me.
In past blogs I have talked about consistency, showing up every day no matter what and I do believe that these daily habits help us to shape the life we want to live. However, we need to do this with self-awareness. Recognising when we need to be still and rest. When having fun and experiencing life is more important than writing about it. If we need to curl up with a book and hibernate, to honour that need. By recognising our cyclical nature and allowing those natural rhythms to flow we will achieve more.
I have slowed down a little since losing my father earlier this year; this month we are having a memorial service and interment so we can say goodbye properly. It hasn’t stopped me from completing my third novel, Little Gold Lies, or starting a fourth but I feel quieter and less energised. Reflecting on how to live cyclically has helped me to accept this change of pace and to allow myself time to adjust. The past year has taken its toll on us all. There will be new growth and abundance but it is okay to be still and take stock.
I have achieved a great deal since the start of 2020 channelling my creative energy and determination into exciting new projects. Now, it is perhaps a time for me to enjoy the harvest. To consider where I am and where I want to be. To prepare the ground for new seeds of possibility.
August may feel like a wash-out weather wise as we have had lots of rain in the UK, but there are still a few weeks left of the holiday month. I intend to have fun, maybe plan a trip into London to visit an exhibition or a museum, to work my way through the books on my Kindle and bookshelf, and maybe even watch a film or Netflix series during the day – that is something I would never normally do. When September comes – a new term, I will be refreshed and ready to take on new challenges with energy and enthusiasm.
I hope that you are enjoying your summer and nurturing your creativity by allowing it to lay dormant if that is what it needs or indeed flourish. Go with the flow!