Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Have you heard of The Seasoned Year? It's written by an expat named Madeleine, from her farm in rural Portugal. She writes beautiful pieces about slowing down and connecting with the cycles in nature. This spring, she offered an online course called Revive! Each week, Madeleine presents different ideas about spring- what it means emotionally, physically, Ayurvedically, and energetically.

We have a Facebook group to share our thoughts and pictures about spring, so lately I've been viewing (and taking!) lots of pictures. The geographically-closest person to me is in the mountains of California. Almost everyone else is in Europe. It's really neat to see photos of changing landscapes that are thousands of miles from here and know that we're going through these changes together.

Madeleine compares spring to morning. Now is the time to wake up, make a cup of tea, and figure out what to do with the rest of the year. Just like a farmer does, you must plant now what you want harvest later. Using nature's cues, this is a time for creating and planning.

But spring in Portland can't really be described as invigorating, busy, or joyful. It's just really, really gray. And, apparently, not in the slightest hurry. I know, in theory, that nature is expanding a ton of energy- growing leaves, blossoms, buds- but I'm super-impatient for the final results. Most days here still look like this:

Yet, I'm kind of glad that nature isn't making frantic changes. It gives me hope that my own small changes will eventually blossom into something bigger, even if they're invisible now. And the landscape of my daily life is about to change- the Chinese lessons have ended, I'm leaving my writing job, and our gym is closing. That's going to equal a large amount of time to work on new things.

D and I went for our first official spring walk the other weekend. The past few months we've been huge homebodies and working remotely hasn't helped. But that morning I was actually working on location, in a very pretty neighborhood that was full of spring. There was so much energy there! This blossoming cherry tree, for example, which couldn't be contained by its fence-

People were outside gardening in old t-shirts, waving as we passed by, and yards were filled with flowers. It was a perfect preview of the season's energy... if only it would come back! ;)

I'm really enjoying Revive! so far. Madeleine is very thoughtful and good at guiding her readers toward offline mindfulness. You might also appreciate her blog or her monthly 'Letter from the Land', which paints pictures from a quiet life in Portugal. Quiet, I suppose, so she can listen to what the land is saying around her.

How about you? Are you able to hear nature at work around you right now?


  1. The Cherry blossoms look so beautiful! I love tulips and daffodils but I hate that they don't last very long. What are you going to do after you leave your writing job?

    1. This weekend we were at a tulip festival- it was that exact moment of full bloom! Are there lots of tulips and daffodils in Ufa right now?

      The plan is to keep writing, but do it for my own brand now. I want to make materials to help people improve their Russian skills. :)

  2. Dearest Katherine--
    I just loved this post. So much inspiration, so much joy -- hope and the promises that spring makes us. Thank you for this, I needed it today.

    Much love to you always, dear friend.

    1. Hi Dena! It's always so nice to hear from you! :) I hope many good things are blossoming in your life this spring! <3 <3 <3

  3. What a beautiful idea! My office view is of snow today, but I have hope for the weekend to be bright!

    1. Whoa, snow?! I'm a little jealous, haha! What part of the world are you in right now?