I love springtime. Ever since I was a child, it has been my favorite season of the year. I recall my utter happiness when the crocuses would first pop up along the roadside on my hometown in Connecticut and I just knew that my heart would open wide and I could soon be running around barefoot and carefree.
My daughter, on the other hand, every year through her childhood would fall sick with allergies or a cold or just lethargy when spring arrived. It was the pollen count, in part, but I always suspected that there was another factor lurking behind her feelings as well. Now that she is an adult, she will sigh around this time of the year and lament that passing of winter. “It is too hot,” she will say. Or “I prefer the fall and winter, I feel better then.”
What about you? I have begun asking friends and family what their favorite season is, and finding a ranges of answers and reasons. It is rather interesting and can be illuminating about the person both psychologically and even, some would say, at a more physical level.
Our proclivity for season in terms of either preference or when you feel best is correlated to aspects of our overall “health personality” in several healing traditions from different places in the world.
For instance, in homeopathy, this can be a question asked to help find the right constitutional remedy. Sulfur people, for instance, are always hot and often have red faces and angry temperaments to go along with this. They tend to feel worse in heat and will often crave ice and cold drinks. In contrast, pulsatilla types or some sepia types will always feel cold and have the shivers, and often will be filling up on hot liquids. My former mother in law was one of these: we would take her to the beach in the middle of the summer and she was there in stockings and a wool sweater.
In ayurvedic medicine from India, the three primary constitutional types are correlated to different elements and through the seasons. Pitta is fire, and correlated with summer. Kapha is earth and correlated to winter, Vatta is air and correlated to times of change but especially fall when the air is crisp and blows strongly. Depending on one’s dosha type, this means you tend to be more comfortable at certain times of the year than others.
This can be helpful to know because, of course, we march through all the seasons of the year annually. Especially in New England where our seasonal differences are so pronounced. And so knowing that, for instance, I do not feel good or do well in the winter, I can take some precautions through diet and attitude to help me navigate this challenging time for me not just physically, but psychologically as well.
So as we are at this wonderful tipping point of the year between the cold months and the warm ones, it might be helpful for you to ask yourself which time you prefer and how to make sure you stay as strong and healthy during the more challenging months for you.
If you are like me, I am just soaking in the sun and flower buds and joyfully bringing out my abundant summer wardrobe and packing up my drab and paltry winter wear. If you are like my daughter, you may be sniffling a bit and regretfully pulling out those light clothes and feeling a bit out of sorts. Either way you are, hope you are enjoying May and all the it may bring to you and all of us.