Preparing for the change of the seasons can mean everything from changing your wardrobe, to changing your diet, to changing the tires on your car. In traditional Chinese Five Element Theory, a philosophy that outlines the characteristics of five essential elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal), the element associated with spring is Wood. People have been using this theory for over a thousand years to guide them through the transition of the seasons, and so to help you maintain harmony this spring, we thought we would share a few things to nurture the Wood element.
SENSE ORGAN: EYES
The sense organ associated with the Wood element are the eyes. In order to calm the body, especially the liver, Five Element Theory recommends resting the eyes by looking at the sky, or by focusing on objects in nature. This weekend, ‘Shell’ opens at The Drawing Room (10253-97 Street). The show features the serene drawings and lithographs of local artists Leanne Olson and Dara Humniski, and they are definitely easy on the eyes. The opening reception is April 5th, 3-7PM, and the exhibit runs until April 26th.
Spring, the season of growth and rebirth, is quite appropriately associated with the colour green. Think budding leaves, sprouting grass, and robin’s eggs. Below are a few items we have in the shop right now that perfectly capture spring’s spirit of newness.
Emphasizing sour foods in the springtime is important for a happy liver, the primary organ associated with the Wood element. This can mean eating pickles and saurkraut, adding lemon to your water…or ordering sweet and sour pork? Maybe. Or, you could check out the exhibition ‘Chop Suey on the Praries’ at the Royal Alberta Museum (12845-102 Ave). Running until April 27th, the exhibit examines the history of Chinese restaurants in small town, rural Alberta throughout the twentieth century.
Take a culinary trip east. Specifically, to Italy. Coup favourite, Corso 32‘s chef Daniel Costa, opened Bar Bricco (10347 Jasper Ave) this weekend, and we highly recommend visiting. Designed as a spuntini, or ‘small bites’ bar, Bricco is open late and features northern Italian-inspired sharing plates, an extensive selection of salumi and formaggi, and plenty of sparkling wine. Try the lemon-infused Carne Cruda Piemontese or the Fennel, Fava Bean and Mint Salad in order to incorporate the Wood element’s sour flavour during your visit.
Rain falling, birds calling, and wood and seeds cracking. These are all sounds of spring. Mercurial NYC‘s ‘Kindling’ rings beautifully call to mind the sound of walking on the crunchy forest floor, right before the spring bloom. Both brass and silver are available at the shop right now.
BODY PART: TENDONS
After months of hunching and huddling in the cold, spring is the time to finally stretch our limbs. The tendons are the main part of the body related to the Wood element, and there is no better way to ease any tension built up there over the winter than with yoga. Visit The Yoga Loft, Lion’s Breath Yoga, or Lotus Soul Gym for some springtime detox.
WEATHER CONDITION: WIND
In the spring, wind is more prevalent than it is during any other season. The irritation that it causes, as it messes up hair and blows dust in your face, is due to the effect that it has on Wood’s main organ, the liver. The vice of the liver is anger, therefore wind = anger. Counteract the wind’s effects this spring, and instead of getting mad, go fly a kite.