There is human time and there is wild time. When I was a child in the north woods, before I learned there were four seasons to a year, I thought there were dozens: the time of nighttime thunderstorm, heat lightning time, bonfires-in-the-woods time, blood-on-the-snow time, the times of ice trees, bowing trees, crying trees, shimmering trees, breaded trees, waving-at-the-tops-only trees, and trees-drop-their babies time. I loved the seasons of diamond snow, steaming snow, squeaking snow, and even dirty snow and stone snow, for these meant the time of flower blossoms on the river was coming.
These seasons were like important and holy visitors and each sent its harbingers: pinecones open, pinecones closed, the smell of leaf rot, the smell of rain coming, crackling hair, lank hair, bushy hair, doors loose, doors tight, doors that won’t shut at all, windowpanes covered with ice-hair, windowpanes covered with wet petals, windowpanes covered with yellow pollen, windowpanes pecked with sap gum. And our own skin had its cycles too: parched sweaty, gritty, sunburned, soft.
~ Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves