Embodying Spring Time
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, spring has sprung and as the saying goes, it’s time for spring cleaning. As a Pueblo woman this idea of cleansing means much more than just clearing out the material. For me, it’s a time that represents renewal, rebirth, and blossoming.
In my tradition these themes have been embodied through ritual and traditions that my people continue to carry on. During the spring equinox we gather as a community and we clean acequias in our village so that water can flow freely, we tend and nurture the recently frozen earth to bring forth fertility, we weed out the dead vegetarian so new life can emerge, and we hold ceremony to honor winter and to welcome spring. These practices, which are so intertwined with the earth, have helped me understand the power this season holds for transformation, for setting intention, and for our evolution for the rest of the year.
I don’t think I am alone in feeling that this past winter was a very heavy time. We went through the holidays and transitioned into a new georgian year. We continued to see paradigm shifts with the #MeToo movement and the collapse patriarchy. For the Indigenous community, we saw justice systems fail our youth and communities with the cases of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine. The Arctic was opened for oil drilling. Bears Ears was (and is being) attacked by the Trump administration and across the globe we saw climate change impact our homes with a shorter and warmer winter. Basically, instead of being able to rest and hibernate, like nature encourages us to do, many of us were on high alert and drained. But now we have the opportunity, thanks to the energy of spring, to cleanse and renew our minds, bodies, and spirits. Not only that, but by basing our spring time practices in the land, we can find grounding, inspiration and be reminded of why we fight to protect these elements and entities.
To connect with and embody spring energy, here are five land based practices you can do this spring:
Cleansing and honoring winter.So first things first: In order for there to be growth, there needs to be a cleansing of what is dead or stagnant. In our lives, we must clear certain patterns, behaviors, relationships, tasks, etc. in order to bring forth the new. Whether you have a traditional practice or not, it is so important to find a way to honor the winter season and cleanse the darkness, the death, the hibernation that winter brings, so that there is space for renewal and rebirth.
Connect with WaterThis is apart of the cleansing process. Go to water to wash away the stagnant energy of winter. Visualize becoming more fluid and unfrozen. Make an offering to show gratitude towards the water for providing life to everything around us. One way to offer gratitude and respect towards this entity, is learning how we can better conserve water. Here’s a guide to learn how to make an "Olla", a traditional irrigation system used by desert peoples to conserve water.
Attend a seed exchange and start seeds.Right about now and into the next few weeks, there will be community seed exchanges happening across Turtle Island. Find one in your community and begin starting your seeds! While you plant your seeds, think about your intentions. What do you want to have happen in the next month, 3 months, 6 months, and so on? As you gently put seeds into the soil imagine what you want to see blossom in your life and we as in your garden. Here’s an event in New Mexico and also a guide on saving seeds and hand pollinating.
Plant a three sisters garden.For some starting a garden can be a bit daunting. One might be overwhelmed by questions like, how much space do I need? What should I plant? What are companion plants? For this person, I have two words for you: three-sisters. Here’s a guide on how to create a three sisters garden, a perfect first-timer project.
Support local Indigenous community farms and seed banks.Does your community have a seed bank? B-line to social media and look up local seed banks and community farms in your community. Here are three seed sovereignty organizations to support and/or buy seeds from:
Sierra Seeds: http://sierraseeds.org
Tesuque Pueblo Farm: https://gardenwarriorsgoodseeds.com/2014/07/27/tesuque-pueblo-farm-nm/
Indigenous Seed Keepers Network: http://www.iskn.org/organizations
Indigenous Futurism has been on my mind lately. I've been meditating on the questions like, what do we as Indigenous Peoples look like in the future? How future possibilities can emerge from present? It is in this spirit that I offer this writing. To inspire introspection and intention setting on how we need to blossom this year.