And Spring arose on the garden fair, Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere; And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
— Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant
As someone who travels between the Northern and Southern hemispheres on a regular basis, I am often a little confused about exactly which season is on the horizon. Growing up in the Irish countryside, I was highly attuned to the rhythms and cycles of nature. I knew almost to the day when the first snowdrops or daffodils would appear and when the various creatures of nature went into or came out of hibernation.
Spring is the most joyous season for me. I welcome the longer, brighter days and feel renewed and invigorated, as if emerging from a cocoon. Spring represents youth, vitality and the spirit of playfulness. It's a time to throw off our winter layers and join the dance of nature as new life springs forth after the slumber of winter.
If we are attuned to the rhythms of nature, we will also feel a new surge of energy and awakening. It's a time when seeds are planted both literally and figuratively—seeds that will blossom into foods that will nourish and sustain us throughout the year and ideas, plans and intentions that will unfold into action as the year progresses.
Each season has its own unique energy, and each one prepares us for the next. In the Chinese Five-Element system, spring is the season of the wood element. Each of the five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal and water—has numerous associations, such as the organs of the body, colors, flavors, emotions, activities, foods that are nourishing or damaging to that particular element and times of day when the organs relating to that element are most active. Aine explores the ins and outs of spring's element, wood