Anyone's life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit.My creative energy is deeply linked to the sun. My creative output soars in the summer, when the days are longest and the Central PA gray clouds have been burned away by cheerful sunshine. In the winter, with shorter days and a gloomy sky, I turn into a slug, content to curl up on the couch and merely dream of quilts and collages and crocheted hats. I'll work on a project or two, but it takes much more effort than my summertime work.
It is the artist's business to create sunshine when the sun fails.
Increased summertime creativity is not an uncommon phenomenon. A study of eminent Italian authors found that most reported a sensitivity to seasonal changes that affected mood, sleep patterns, and creative output. Spring and summer were times when they felt the best, slept least, and created the most.
It makes sense too, when you think about the seasons. Spring is a rebirth and reawakening after winter's slumber. Summer is a time of vibrant, fervent, bountiful growth. Autumn is the harvest, when we gather the fruits of our labors. And in winter, we slide into dormancy, hibernation, and regeneration while we wait for the cycle to begin again.
So here I am in the blissful summer sunshine, absolutely overflowing with ideas. I'm waking with the sun and spending my days mindfully engaged in creative tasks (whether an art project, writing instruction handouts, or developing a buying plan for fabric and yarn). My ideas are so abundant that I carry three different notebooks to track them.
As I work through this most creative time, I am also working on developing ways to nurture my creative energy through all its natural phases. The seasons are a cycle, moving through rebirth, to growth, to harvest, to hibernation. And so I am thinking of my creativity as a cycle. I'll take advantage of summer's growth and autumn's harvest to produce and create as much as I can. In the winter, I will rest and regenerate my energy by choosing less demanding projects and seeking out sources of inspiration, so that with spring's next arrival I can begin the cycle again.
But as long as the sun continues to shine, I'll make hay.