For those of us in Northern Virginia, in less than one week we’ve gone from shoveling snow to days that have the hint of spring. In fact, even during the snows of the past few weeks, if you stopped and listened to the birds in the morning, you might have noticed that they were singing their spring songs.
Unlike the western calendar, which marks the equinox as the first day of spring, the Chinese calendar considers the equinox to mark the middle of spring. The birds may have noticed before we did, but, we are moving into a new season of growth and development.
The Huang Ti Nei Ching Su Wen (The Yellow Emporor’s Classic of Internal Medicine) is the basis of Chinese traditional medicine. It is not known when it was composed, but it is at least several thousand years old. The following quote, from the Ilza Veith translation, describes how to live in harmony with the energy of the spring.
The three months of Spring are called the period of the beginning and development (of life). The breaths of Heaven and Earth are prepared to give birth; thus everything is developing and flourishing.
After a night of sleep people should get up early (in the morning); they should walk briskly around the yard; they should loosen their hair and slow down their movements (body); by these means they can (fulfill) their wish to live healthfully.
During this period (one’s body) should be encouraged to live and not be killed; one should give (to it) freely and not take away (from it); one should reward (it) and not punish (it).
All this is in harmony with the breath of Spring and all this is the method for the protection of one’s life.
If one doesn’t live in harmony with the Spring you will not have what you need to support your development in the Summer. So, let your hair down and take a walk!