Such an interesting time of year, this piece of the cycle. August 1 is the halfway point between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox. In the Chinese calendar, some mark the beginning of August as the beginning of Autumn (Lung time) while others feel it is the season of Late Summer (Spleen/Earth time), between Summer and Autumn, which feels right to me. Late Summer is associated with damp climate; autumn with dry (although some raininess too). Here we have some of both now, as the hills turn golden brown, yet the fog brings some damp.
The paradoxes continue…. Now is the time where so much is ripe for harvest; the abundance of earth is flourishing! Yet just as within utmost Yang, Yin begins, this is the time of the year when the wheel just begins its turning toward fall, dying back into the earth, compost, though we aren’t quite there yet. A reminder that within the cycle of seed, flower, fruit, is inherent the reaping of the harvest, the inevitable continuation of the cycle. Reaping our harvest, we reap what has grown of the initial seed, the passion and will that cultivated the seed to fruition.
While on the one hand we are still so busy with our harvest, enjoying the fullness of summer (although here that doesn’t always mean heat, we are still in the most light, delicious summer foods, some hot sunshine here and there…), for me this time of year feels like a time to pause, contemplate, soak up some sunshine and relaxation, even as the work of harvest continues. As this is the time of year associated with Spleen and Stomach (see more info about this here), we can think of it like a time to relax after eating, so important to our Spleen Qi. The Spleen/Stomach/Earth system in the body is so busy absorbing deliciousness, transforming it, and transporting it throughout the body, that it must take time to relax during and after eating, to be able to have energy to perform these functions. This includes a relaxation of both the body and the mind, as overthinking weakens the Spleen.
Metaphorically, in the midst of color and texture and juice, the work of the harvest and preparation for the next planting, this is also a place in the cycle to digest. A time of year to pause for a moment and soak in Earth energies, absorbing what has already been taken in, remembering and reembodying our intention, recultivating our sense of purpose (what we will transform, carry and move to the desired place) even as we harvest what has already been cultivated. A time of year to feel ourselves as earthlings, grown out of the earth and intimately connected with earth sense, cycles, and flow. How do we rest within the movement and aflow of qi? What are we harvesting, what are we thankful for? What will we plant in our gardens for the next seasons?
Earth Garden Blessings, Shoshana