August the month of Late Summer - care and devotion for a plentiful harvest
This is technically the first month of Autumn in the classical division of the year into four seasons. Practically, with so much Yang energy still in Nature, it feels like we are still in Summer. However, the 8th of August marks the beginning of the Late Summer, the transition from Summer to Autumn. Late Summer in Five Element philosophy is linked to the Earth Element.
It is the balancing and stock taking month; the beginning of harvest.
After nearly uncontrollable growth in Spring and a diffusing expansion of Summer energy, the Late Summer is the time where the nature is just beginning to turn its energy inwards in order to produce and mature fruits. So, grass is not growing as high, foliage of plants is not as expanding now, however, fruits are getting bigger and more mature. That inward energy after months of very active Yang feels somehow balancing off. It is also the time when we are seeing what all that Yang activity has produced.
Looking at my garden I can see the quantity and quality of fruits my tomato plants have produced. I begin to assess how the Nature has gifts my efforts in growing tomatoes. We have had a lot of drought this year and had it not been for me watering the plants regularly they would have withered and died just like the grass that's besides them. Had I not been constant and dedicated to watering them nearly daily, I would not be seeing lush green plants producing fruits now. I can also see that this year my lack of constancy in timely tending to the plants, such as tying and cutting regularly, has produced fewer fruits than last year. Whenever we grow something, the rhythm is really crucial for adundant harvest. When the nature receives everything necessary at the right time and in the right amount, it gifts us with abundance.
Now, that can make us think analogically about our being, be it our body, mind or spirit, we need to tender to it with constancy, dedication and attention if we would like to see satisfying results. It is easier to think about the body. Giving it the right kind of food and regular meals, makes our bodies function well.
How about our mind? It is slightly more abstract, however, giving it good food for thoughts will make it produce marvellous ideas and concepts. Have you ever noticed that after reading an interesting book or seeing a beautiful exhibition or travelling you come back home and feel so mentally creative? That's because you've nourished your mind.
How about our spirit? It is even more abstract to imagine how we can best nourish our spirit. But you can imagine that analogically to our body and mind we need to nourish it just as regularly to satisfy our higher-selves. The nourishment of our spirit is when we feel our life is fulfilling (in our vocation, our relationships, etc) and when our efforts bring the abundant fruits in those areas, or when we make acts of kindness or practice stillness and perceive all encompassing state of peace and harmony.
So, this month is just that; assessing our efforts and what fruit it has bore for us so far. It requires us to turn our gaze inwards. After months of expanding our energy on many activities, socialising, trying out new things and places, we are now looking at the effect it's had on our being.
The Mother Earth teaches us how constancy, dedication, devotion and rhythm are important in caring and nourishing. You hardly ever spend a day without nourishing your body, without eating something. Why would you not need to nourish your soul and spirit daily?
Those qualities of the Earth Element were so important to the ancient Chinese that they associated it with their legendary Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) and his assistant Sovereign Earth (Hou Tu).
This month give care and attention to what you want to see flourishing in your life and water just that, tender to it daily; whether it is a work project, your wellbeing, family love, home harmony, sharing and dreaming, or other part of your life that has not yet produced the fruits you need. Consider that during the month of August. I hope your reflections will be truly abundant. And finally, feel free to write me comments or questions on the topic.