Night Sky

The Cycles To Call Home

It’s been the harvest moon. Changing of the seasons.

Night Sky

They are also shifting, and so, as I got ready for the Wachau Marathon, the weather had turned to what felt like unseasonably cool temperatures (followed by another high and the descent into fall).

It all coming together is an apt illustration, for this year’s passing was marked by running events more than anything else, but there was also all the higher an attention paid to the weather.

Spring had come early and then disappeared again in a cold front that reduced many a fruit harvest; summer had lots of heat but also pockets of cool temperatures that made us forget all about the heat and feel that it was not a nice, hot summer. At the same time, as usual, there wasn’t exactly a lot of rain.

The chile pepper growing for ChiliCult added to the things that made for my higher awareness of the passing of the growing season, of course. High-enough temperatures are good; too high and dry means the chilli won’t grow so well, but with a little watering is still much better than cold…

For the running, too, the temperatures and conditions had – and have – their influence, of course.
The very first two races, the Vienna City Marathon and the Über-Drüber-Marathon in Kirchdorf an der Krems, both had cold to cool temperatures which were something – for me, anyways – to contend with. Maybe it is an after-effect of all the running in Hunan heat, but the higher temperatures and humidity during the other races was considerably more comfortable for me…

Now, we are getting back into the time which is always a challenge in and of itself, when the wind blows as always, but chills a body to the bones – remember the Winter Running Impressions?. There are not many obstacles here to impede the wind, and it can come all the way from Siberia and draw down the cold from there – although, of course, the Arctic was not exactly its usual cold self this summer…

What does it all mean for getting to be at home?

We love to assume that home is simply where we feel at home, maybe through experience and familiarity, maybe in some sort of magical connectedness – but everywhere has its upsides and its downsides. It’s always a matter of making ourselves at home, noticing and dealing with all there is.

With the cycles of life, even something as familiar as a running course going in ever the same circle, used time after time, can continue to hold some interest.
With the passing of the seasons, the change of the weather, and the ways that the plants develop with them, you never step into the same garden twice.
With the seasonal changes in sunlight and temperatures, our bodies go through their annual cycles, too.

Some things are just easier to do when there is more daylight, when the sun rises earlier and sets later. Other work, staying indoors more and retreating into the warmth of a friendly fire – itself a potential everyday life lesson – comes more naturally with winter’s little daylight and cold.

It is but natural, and it still affects us, even through all the electronic screens’ shining that messes with our daily rhythms, all the air conditioning and heating with which we try to make conditions comfortable – and with which we recently tend to forget that we should be making ourselves comfortable with the situation, too.

Yes, certainly, the clock now rules.
Everything is structured in the way of the machine and the factory, and the only way that most people try to adapt to cycles is by trying to sleep less so they can party more but still get to work on time the next morning.

Carving out our own spaces to live more adapted to the cycles of the bodies we are and the world we live in – where the change of the seasons through the year and the change of sunlight even within a day still rule more strongly in their interaction with our own bodily periods – would make us live more lightly in our demands on Earth, and more contentedly in our personal lives.

A constant push for constant (let alone constantly rising) productivity just isn’t natural, isn’t how we are and the world is – and we are paying dearly for this senseless struggle to be an ‘other’ to nature rather than work sensibly with and as the (part of) nature we are.