Live in Harmony with the Seasons

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Live in Harmony with the Seasons

One of the unspoken goals I have had since moving to our homestead has been to synchronize our lifestyle to the rhythm of  the seasons.

To me, this is a concept that goes way beyond eating tomatoes in the summer.

To me, it means  bringing the outside indoors, duplicating the four season pattern of rest, renewal, growth, and reflection into our every day habits.

I was delighted then, to recently discover  The Homespun Seasonal Living Workbook by Kathie Lapcevik.  This resource is a series of interactive lessons broken down over  twelve weeks, spanning the course of a single season.

The lessons are concise and easy to read.  Kathie’s manner is gentle and encouraging. Every week is a new approach at honoring the season followed by a simple assignment.  The lessons are presented as a series of suggestions, with no right or wrong answers.

The reader is encouraged to keep it small and simple, to let go of perfection. Her approach is free spirited.  You’ll find no rigid spreadsheets or checklists here.

While some lessons touch on the obvious such as eating local and seasonally, many encourage a simple awareness with the goal of being content.

There were four suggestions that stood out to me in particular:

Journal as a way of connecting to the season

If writing isn’t your thing, it doesn’t have to be through written words.  Kathie encourages you to sketch or photograph images of the surrounding season in order to create awareness.

Create Seasonal Grooves

This was one suggestion that particularly resonated with me.  Choose something: a craft, a hobby, or a skill, and practice it as a way to connect with the seasons.  For example, gather and arrange wildflowers in the spring, knit during the winter, can applesauce in the fall.

One ritual that I have started is to reread The Secret Garden at the break of every winter, in order to rediscover the magic of gardening and see the blooming of daffodils through Mary Lennox’s eyes.

Create a Seasonal Refuge

Choose a specific area as a place where you can settle and rejuvenate.  Bring something from the outside to that spot to ground you to the season.

My quiet place is a pink chair in the corner of our bedroom.  I have it situated close to a window where I can sit and watch the wind, the rain, and sometimes the snow.  In the summer, we enjoy sitting on our back porch where we can watch the pond.

Bloom Where You are Planted

How many times do we wish for what we don’t currently have? Or, in the middle of a freezing cold winter, wish for the heat of summer?  In this lesson we’re encouraged to find ways to embrace the present and cherish the gifts that each season gives us.

Home Grown Tomatoes

For those of us who are busy on our homesteads, even at this slow-paced time of year reading and journaling may seem like tasks that should be relegated to the bottom of our list.  However, I found this to be an easy read, and at just sixteen pages, one can easily get an overview in an hour.

Apart from that, it offers reminders of  why we choose to live connected to the earth in the first place.

I eagerly look forward to incorporating Kathie’s lessons into my seasonal routine and would encourage you to do the same.

For more information, or to purchase, click here.

I received a digital copy of this book for the review but the thoughts and opinions are all my own. This post contains affiliate links which means that at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you purchase an item.

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Comments

Live in Harmony with the Seasons — 14 Comments

  1. This is so beautiful! I’ve had this same subject on my mind, lately. I was in the supermarket the other day and I overheard a woman saying she was stocking her pantry for the coming snow storm and she couldn’t believe the price they were asking for fresh apples. It struck me how far removed we are, as a society, from the realities of nature. Apples aren’t fresh in the middle of winter in Michigan… yet we demand what we want at the moment we want it. And then we cry over the state of our health and our planet. Taken a step further, instead of using this season of being “snowed in” to take care of indoor chores, rest, visit with family and be restored, we insist on carrying on our busy-ness… running here and there… and then we weep because we are so tired. The disconnect is stunning when you begin to see how deeply engrained it is in our thinking!

    • So true! I was so disappointed last year to meet others at the farmer’s market who were still looking for hot house tomatoes before the end of April. And I think our bodies really need that down time in the winter. I know I haven’t disciplined myself like I should these past few months but it is something I want to continue to work on.

  2. What a timely message, thank you. It’s a bit difficult here in NE TX for us to truly rest through the winter, we will have a week of freezing temps, then 4 days of 70 degree weather which makes us want to run outside and take advantage of the weather and do outside chores, and then another week of freezing temps. I think my age is helping me to slow down though, thanks for the reminder, it will be 60 today, but rainy, so I’m looking forward to finishing some crochet projects, and/or a good book.

    • Here in OK we have really funky weather like that too. Last week before the temps dropped we had a few days where it was like spring. Really hard sometimes to stay in the winter mindset and I know it wreaks havoc on my garden.

  3. Great review. It makes me want to read the book! Where I live, one needs to be particularly perceptive to notice and honor the seasons, but they are there, and you’ve inspired me to go outside today and investigate.

    • I have to say Becky with our freezing cold winter I have at times envied your milder climate.

  4. Good review, Jenny. I notice that we eat differently in the winter, not so fresh. And I think that is where the spring tonic thing came in, to replenish was was missing by the winter diet. Also, because it gets darker earlier, we do tend to do crafts and read aloud in the winter that we don’t in the summer.

    • This is the first year I did not buy lettuce regularly to get us through the winter. I decided we’d try to rely primarily on what we had still growing or what we had preserved. So far so good. We’re enjoying our sun dried tomatoes from last summer.

  5. I love this attitude towards the seasons. :-) I too have been embracing this mindset, trying to center myself in what IS. It was hard for me, coming to Australia, and having the months connect to opposite seasons. It took quite awhile for me to associate September with Spring instead of Autumn, to have my heart in sync with the seasons that ARE. It feels good. :-)

    • I have thought of you often having to deal with the change in the seasons. That must have been such an adjustment for you. I can’t think of September without thinking of pumpkins and apples. :)

  6. Very nice! Yes, bloom where you’re planted….it’s probably one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn in my 55 years. A heart of contentment is one that is hard to find, but once found it brings so much JOY!

  7. Found you via facebook. I recently wrote a blog post (“Seasonal Living“) on this very subject and how we’re working to fit various homestead tasks into a seasonal rhythm. I hadn’t heard of this book and so was very interested in your review. It’s definitely one I’ll have to look into. Thanks.