Savoring Seasonal Rhythms

Noticing seasonal details is something I find fun and enriching. Like, Oh, it’s that time of year again!

In Japan, where I lived for several years (once as a young child, then later as an adult), noticing and honoring the unique gifts of each season is a major thing. Every season seems to have some special fruit, flower, vegetable, tree, insect associated with it. Cherry-blossom viewing in springtime is a grand tradition. Autumn is moon-viewing. There are different teas, special cooked dishes for each season.

The cry of cicadas is a prized summer song.

In the hottest days of summer in Japan, it’s popular to eat unagi (eel), which is grilled and served over rice with a tasty sauce; supposedly boosts one’s energy to endure the heat. One thing I know for sure, unagi with that sweet-salty brown sauce is a delicious treat.

It’s very grounding to be able to enjoy seasonal rhythms anywhere we live. It lets us build a unique connection with the place we call home. It helps if you stay long enough in one place to be able to pick up on the seasonal rhythms, but if you’re new, ask the locals! It’s a good way to get rooted in your new place. I’ve found I can tap into existing seasonal traditions, or notice/make my own.

I’ve lived in this house for three years now, and have noticed that this time of year is when my plumeria trees start dropping a few of their beautiful fragrant flowers each day. Every morning I go out and retrieve the fresh blossoms and float them in a shallow bowl of water. It’s a sweet addition to my little front porch room where I sit and do a lot of my work in the daytime.

It took me awhile to catch on, but this is also the time of year when tiny tiny ants come into my house. Not in huge numbers, and they only seems to come for certain things. Water; a spilled bit of fruit I missed picking up.

I realized they are drawn to the plumeria bowl. It’s their water-bowl!

Oftentimes, my water-glass is also their water-bowl. How did I forget that this is what always happens at this time of year? The mini invasion of harmless tiny ants. Because they’re so itsy bitsy, it’s hard to clear them safely out of the way so I can drink my water. Also sometimes they drown in the water glass. I realized I always need to make sure their plumeria bowl is full. And, I need to not leave my water-glass unattended, especially if the water has been sweetened by a bit of juice or a drop of essential oil or something.

It’s that time of year again! The season of tiny ants and plumeria showers. What unique aspects of nature show up in your world at this time of year?