The pear has little to no reputation. It is in a few desserts. It isn’t as popular as the banana. It’s not used in any popular lessons (such as the famous non comparison- apples to oranges). It’s not considered exotic like a papaya or coconut, it’s not a popular “pick your own” fruit, was never “in” like the avocado, or so heavily used in food or drink like the grape that fields and farms are required to keep up with the demand.
It’s just an unassuming pear, which is why I chose to paint it.
The pear is like almost every other living thing amongst us. And like most things we don’t give it a second thought most of the time.
The pear, the apple, the banana, the trees that produce these fruits, the flowers, our pets, sea life and of course humanity all live through a cycle. It’s as natural as nature itself. Humans are the only ones who sometimes fear or fight it. The rest of the planet accepts it as the flow we live in.
The flow and these cycles are shown to us by nature and what governs living. Particularly through the seasons.
The pear painting goes from left to right, top to bottom through it’s very own abridged life cycle.
Winter is when most consider their surrounding closest to death. Life as we know it rests and hibernates. We hunker down and wait out the storm, most of us complaining along the way and wishing away the time until spring.
However, in the midst of the storm, under ground, and right below the surface, Mother Earth is preparing for the next cycle. The frost and subsequent defrost are laying the ground work for what is coming. Perhaps we may even consider it to be where life truly begins.
Like the architect on an empty lot where a new building will one day stand, the architect is surveying the surroundings and mentally creating what will later manifest as a structure using what is available in that time and place to make it so.
In that time where there appears to be nothing, there is a vision of the future bubbling right under the surface- waiting to be put into action once the sketch is complete.
Winter is the sketch. It’s the time to not do, but just be and know that the spring will come, and with it there will be work to do.
Under ground the trees and perennials are preparing the seeds that will come forth in the spring. Compared to sentient creatures such as us humans, it is the time when the mother’s egg prepares to be fertilized.
It’s actually where all the magic is taking place. All that we cannot see or understand in the material world. It’s that beautiful dark little slip of space and time where the spiritual world intersects with the physical one. It may be the most auspicious time of the year.
The thaw. The flow of water and life. The sun is with us longer. Dirt is tilled. Seeds are planted. The egg is fertilized.
Of all the planted seeds (the seed of man and animal as well in the form of sperm), only a small percent actually sprout forth into life. The lucky seeds that mesh perfectly with the womb of mother/Mother Earth, the ones that happen to have the prime conditions that nurture it’s growth, are so very lucky. We take it for granted, but we are fortunate to be alive and to experience life. The spring is the time of rapid growth where what makes it lives through its early days to survive through to maturity.
If we are looking at spring through a seasonal lens, it’s the time we lay the seeds, nurture what is planted and help it along until its strong enough to be on it’s own for whatever reason it is here to be.
Ayurveda calls this time “Kapha”. It’s cool, wet and dense, just like the earth in the spring. It is strongly rooted to its source; very grounded. It grows quickly, and puts on weight easily.
In the chakra system it’s close to the roots. It’s red in color like the root chakra. All life needs a strong root to connect to the earth and then hold it strongly enough to keep it safe but light enough to allow it to grow.
Through the lens of a human, it’s the time of fertilization and early growth until young adulthood. Baby fat, rapid physical maturation, rosy cheeks, dense, learning-growing, needing a bit more nurture and support from the source as the child matures. For the mother who housed the egg and was in rest during the “winter” of the relationship with her own child, the work arrives in the form of carrying the child and then helping it arrive safely in young adulthood.
The pear… it isn’t quite ripe. If it is off the tree, it will be light in color; tinged by that red root that held it close to the branch. If eaten it’s a bit bitter, not quite ready. It has yet to mature. It’s a child. It’s in the spring or Kapha cycle.
Sun. Teaming life. Hot. Moving for purpose. Lighter, a bit dryer & quick to inflammation.
The earth and it’s fruits are mostly in full bloom. Growth slows but it’s at the peak of maturity. The seeds no longer need help- they have the ability to live on their own, fighting off bugs and weeds without much outside help. The result of those spring planted seeds are here doing and being precisely what they are meant to do and be.
In Ayurveda this is “Pita”. Hot, quick to fire. Sustaining of life as we know it. Chakra-wise it’s lighter, and yellow like the sun. It is the chakra of digestion. It gives and supports life by helping everything keep moving as it should. Like digestion it’s lit by “Agni” or that internal moving fire.
Humans are now young adults to middle aged. In their prime. Taking care of both the young and old. They have an inner fire to make things happen, to sustain life, get things done, and keep the world going. They are the largest source of income generation. They have the energy and drive to keep it all going. They are like the full summer blooms, doing what they were meant to do.
At this time the pear is ripe. Mission accomplished. It’s the time to eat it or bake with it. Despite its color, it’s tinged with yellow undertones.
The change. Colors deepen. The temperature starts to cool and the air is lighter and drier. The days begin to darken. It feels like a welcome relief. The trees start to relax and succumb to nature. The leaves allow themselves to deepen, change, and finally let themselves go. Before the leaves do let go, that tree never seemed so beautiful.
Ayurvedically speaking this part of the cycle is “Vata”. Whether you are a half empty or half full glass type of person, it can be seen as the time of death or the agent of change. The necessary change that needs to take place so the next cycle of planning and development can take place. Chakra-wise we move up the body to the color blue or the throat chakra. The throat representing voice. With a mature and wise mind, humans have less energy but are able to speak their truth and guide the next generation.
Humans at this part of life also begin to slow down and let go. They often feel colder and have a more deep and philosophical understanding of this cycle and their own part it in. They are closer to spirit and that magic time of “winter” so to speak. Generally they have more trouble keeping on weight and become drier. The skin is tinged with blue and darker undertones. They are like the fall.
The pear, if uneaten, becomes darker too. Blue & brown undertones. Overripe. More age spots. Soft to the touch. But the sweetest and juiciest it will ever be if you can handle the mess! Another proverbial day or two in its own cycle and it just becomes a pile of mush. Mush to turn the seeds inside to something new perhaps? The opportunity to begin the cycle again as we head back into winter.
Circle of Life
It’s a beautiful cycle. It is nature. Each part has its very own purpose and feeds right into the next. There is no real beginning and no real end.
We should keep in mind that there is truly nothing to fight. Try… but we will not win. It’s easier to just understand nature and accept and open up to where we are are in it.
Nature is bigger than us. She will carry us through each awesome, perpetual, ongoing, self sustaining cycle so we can play our own special part.
Like the seed that created the unassuming pear, we are each a seed lucky enough to have made it.
I painted two versions of this. One with the raw primary colors and the other with a softer tint of each.
Below I used photography and light alteration to show the same concept.
The original pear this blog was written about is the one to the bottom left of the first photo.