When I arrived in Toronto 7 years ago, I struggled to adjust to four very distinct seasons (especially winter). My best coping mechanisms became my rituals and daily celebrations. It took a while for me to put two and two together and see that having little somethings to look forward to was really helping me get through the sometimes brutal seasonal shifts.
Once I finally realized it, I became very intentional about creating opportunities to celebrate the seasons. Growing up in France, Japan, and India, I’ve been lucky to witness so many beautiful rituals and traditions. Drawing from these cultures gave me that many more “official” holidays and celebrations to take note of and honour in my own way, but I’ve also become pretty good at creating my own occasions.
The moon helps, a lot. Every week or so there’s either a dark, new, waning/waxing half, or full moon, and accompanying rituals. Then there are the 12 months on the calendar, each with a unique character that I’ll draw from to occasionize daily life. Some interpretations of the months are unique and personal, imbued with my own memories and associations, while others are more universal.
By mixing both the personal and the universal, I usually have a pretty long list of themes and sensations for each month. This makes transitioning through the seasons a series of rituals, occasions, and little celebrations. I’m going to share some fall favourites in my next post, so you’ll get a better sense of what my list might look like.
In the meantime, share your thoughts below!