The Fiercely DIY Guide to Season Living (#ad) by Kathie Lapcevic is an antidote for the harried, fast paced, treadmill life that so many modern women feel trapped in. It speaks of a gentler, more intentional retreat, away from the bustle and artificial demands of meetings, carpooling, and bowing to the priorities of the postmodern system.
The call to get back to nature and find significance in place and time is real. It’s the desire for Eden in our archetypal memory that drives us to retreat to the woods like Thoreau. The desire may be numbed by technology or by busyness, but for many the call to get back to nature, gets louder as we get older.
The Fiercely DIY Guide to Seasonal Living is a roadmap to your journey to get back to nature. Why is it called “Fiercely”? Because while it’s gentle in the way it coaxes you into a new rhythm and way of thinking, it’s fiercely protective. Like a mama bear, it suggests protecting the weekly time you’ve set aside for you, in your personal desire to live with more intention and be grounded in the seasons.
What’s it about?
The book is divided into 12 weeks, about the length of a given season. Each week there is a short lesson and an actionable step to bring you closer to the rhythms of nature. The whole book is short. In fact you could sit down and read the entire book in less than an hour. But the book isn’t intended to be read cover to cover in one sitting. The book is a guide to gently nurture your inner life into a different, more soul satisfying direction.
The chapters guide you through walking in nature, creating a place of solitude and contemplation in your home, journal writing, eating locally with the seasons, preserving the abundance, and crafting intentionally and frugally.
It won’t cost you much money to take action, as most of the materials necessary will be provided by your garden or by foraging in nature.
Who is this book for?
This book is for the woman who is tired and feels like an automaton, just going through the paces day after day and lacking clear direction. It is for the woman who feels out of place and out of touch with the things that actually matter. It is for the woman who wants to develop habits that feed her soul in a positive and enlightening way. It’s for the woman who understands that time is a gift and the only thing of true value, because it is limited and irreplaceable.
Those who are enjoying their fast paced life, numbed by busyness and mesmerized by technology won’t take the time to get the full value out of this book. To get value from this book you need to be willing to unplug from technology so that you can plug into the reality of the seasons.
What are seasons?
While the book uses the seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter as a construct for getting in touch with the natural rhythm. You could just as easily look at it as a way of getting “back to nature”. You don’t actually have to start the book in the first week of Spring. Even if you begin on May 1st and finished 12 weeks later, you’ll get a lot out of this book as you take the time to establish a place in your home for contemplation, journaling, crafting, and just looking out the window and watching the rain, and recognizing the good gifts of rain that fall on the just and the unjust, alike.
One exercise that stands out
My favorite lesson in the book is the “Pick a Plant Ally” lesson on page 44. The author suggests that you should find a corner in your garden or a place in nature that’s close to home and visit there often during the season. Take a weekly photograph, or sketch it in your journal. Note the changes in the season. And get to know that plant ally through the changes of the season. I’d suggest going one step further and harvesting a small portion of that plant ally and adding it to medicine, assuming that the plant is edible and medicinal. So the first step would be to choose a plant that is edible.
In my yard today stinging nettles, chives, cherry blossoms, and rhubarb would be good candidates for this exercise. Have you ever seen the deep bronze-red buds of rhubarb peeking through the soil just after the snow melts? It’s truly like the earth giving birth, with its head crowning in the soil. It reminds us that the spring brings rebirth, after a winter of dormancy. As the plants come alive again, so should our souls be renewed after the grey dormancy we experience in winter.
If you are ready to create some life giving, soul feeding habits this season, to pull away from the frenetic pace of other people’s priorities for your life, The Fiercely DiY Guide to Seasonal Living will gently guide your first baby steps in living with greater intention and a deep sense of place and time. Is this your season to get back to nature?
Get the print version so that you can truly unplug for a few minutes every week and follow along with your journal.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from the author, nevertheless this review represents my honest opinion of the book.