Not the stormy bits that rattle alarm through all your senses and buffet you about with noise and shove.
No, although that can be dramatic and exciting, I prefer the calm bits in between when suddenly the world goes silent and seems to stop breathing. When the earth makes a mellow sigh, all its yield harvested, and settles itself for its winter rest in a blaze of russets, burnished stems and glorious sunsets. The only sound the trickle of a dry leaf down through branches and a sudden shrill of robin song.
I almost feel my sap settling with it!
I know my productivity and personal rhythms are very much affected. My inclination and energy seem to dwindle with the light. It would suit me to lie dormant and fallow all winter along with the fields. And I think this is an inherent part of us we tend to ignore as we remove ourselves from natural dark with light pollution and from the earth’s rhythms by squashing it under concrete.
But however much we barrier ourselves away from these natural phenomena, the pull of rhythms and cycles is still there, as surely as the moon pulls the tides and the tilt and turn of the planet governs the seasons.
Children are affected in a similar way too.
What with targets and percentiles and objectives for each stage of their growing lives we’ve been made to feel that children ‘should’, (awful word), at all times be making a steadily climbing progression. We certainly expect that with their learning.
But this is not the reality. The reality is that they mostly develop in leaps and plateaus.
They can appear to be making no progress at all then suddenly ‘bling!’ a concept is reached, a skill acquired, a leap is made. It’s similar to their physical height, when all of a sudden they seem to have shot up in a rush and you hadn’t noticed. They’ve had a growth spurt and they’re clasping you higher up the legs, or can now touch those things you kept out of reach.
And it’s not only their physical growth that develops like this. Their learning, skills and understanding does too. They can plateau for a bit and seem to make no advancement whatever, then make huge strides.
This is the natural order of things. And it’s much easier if we accept that, rather than think we should be climbing graphs in a straight line. We could also remember that just because kids are on a plateau for a while, or in a fallow season, it does not mean that they’re going to remain there. In fact, you can take it as a given that they will not remain there – it’s almost impossible; nature dictates the way and pushes them on again.
So there’s really no harm in allowing your children these fallow seasons. Like with the earth they are recharging. And anyway, stuff will be shifting under the surface. So relax. Trust. And look forward to that next wonderful growing surge and learning leap.
It’s bound to come as sure as Spring!