Coursing the Wind

Best thing about Spring:
Things change SO quickly.

Worst thing about spring:
Things change SO quickly.

For better and worse, Spring is a gusty, windy time. After the confinement and constraint of Winter, things start to change, bloom and hatch so rapidly it seems like magic. I love driving the Baltimore-Washington Parkway this time of year, with those long stretches of dense trees so near the road. Their branches look like they’re dustd with all the colors of their tiny buds and baby leaves. SO many shades of green! It amazes me how the entire color scheme can change in just a few warm hours.

The good thing is we find ourselves moving more, making plans and connections that were unimaginable a few months ago. The tough thing is we may not have the energy, yet, to carry out the things we suddenly see as possible. Or we may not have the flexibility yet—mentally or physically—to shift gears and change course as quickly as we’d like.

The ancient Chinese elders who came up with Acupuncture and Qi Gong taught us that we humans are not so different from trees. The Creative Life Force rises in us, come Spring, just like sap rises in a tree. As our ‘sap’ rises it clears out toxins and moistens our sinews so we can start to flex our limbs—just as we see our favorite trees doing on a breezy day.

This powerful rising energy does not always move smoothly. Just as Spring weather bounces back and forth in extreme ways, Spring moves with fits and starts. It swells and surges. And it bumps up against all kinds of obstacles. Sort of like a ball in a pre-video pinball machine. Sudden surges can be disorienting. Feeling our way blocked by obstacles can feel frustrating. This is just the upwelling of our creative Spring energy when it has no place to go! When obstacles look too big to move or get around, anger, frustration, even fury can erupt—and blow just like a sudden gust of wind.

Gradually, as the spring breezes blow, we shake loose and find ways to maneuver. Jumbled by winds from every angle, obstacles eventually break loose or we notice ways to ripple around them. Then, suddenly, we find we’re off—to wherever our new vision is inviting us to go.

Springtime invigorates our vision, our clarity about where we’re heading, where we want to go, what we want to do. It rejuvenates our Liver, which helps us detox and clear away whatever is in our way. It juices our tendons and ligaments and fires up our muscles so we can reach and stretch and take new steps, literally and figuratively.

It’s easy to ‘over-reach’ in early Spring. Sometimes our vision exceeds our reach. Pulls, tears, strains are common as our Spring restlessness prompts us to break out and start to move in new ways. The ache of toxins stirred up as we start exercising more can discourage us from progressive with new movement.

‘Baby steps’ is the watch word of Spring. Just a bit at a time, we step out and step up. The energy all around us is building: longer days, warmer temperatures. Every day we see more of the Creative Life Force in the natural world as it greens, blooms and sings.

Cynthia Zanti Jabs, L.Ac. has practiced acupuncture and Qi Gong for two decades. In addition to practicing at Ruscombe, she also teaches at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, introducing medical students to acupuncture.

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