This month we’re focusing on fertility because in March we celebrate both International Women’s Day, and the Chinese festival of QingMing which marks the start of spring.

Here in Melbourne, of course, it’s Autumn not Spring, but the idea of marking and celebrating the changing seasons is still valid. It’s an important part of Chinese culture that helps us maintain health and balance.

In China, QingMing is a time for remembering the generations who have gone before us, and looking to the future by planting seeds and trees. A dormant winter season when the earth balances and rests itself is necessary for abundant growth.

While I’m grateful for modern conveniences of electric light, heating, and air conditioning, I also believe that they distract us from the changing seasons and stop us from seeing the need to maintain balance.

Indirectly these modern conveniences are responsible for the frenzied pace of modern city life which ignores our physical, emotional and spiritual limitations.

Western medicine, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine acknowledges the effects of stress on fertility and general health. By cultivating balance in our lives even at the expense of ‘productive’ activity we become better examples to our children and more effective in every area of our lives.

Last month we had relatives visiting from China. I value the time they set aside to visit us, and the importance they place on family relationships because they could have chosen other destinations that were new and exciting, but they chose to visit us because we are family.