Late Summer Season ~ Yes, It Really is a Season!


Relatively short and not really recognized in Western culture traditional Chinese medicine recognizes a fifth season known as Late Summer. Typically the last month of summer and the middle of the Chinese year (which begins in February), others' report it as the 3rd week of August to the September equinox. Either way, it’s the season where we begin the transition from yang to yin, a period of interchange.  

In the Midwestern United States you can feel it in the wind.  Standing on the boat dock overlooking a lake a breeze cooler than those felt days prior floats by. Or walking through a forest you notice the leaves a little more brittle on their edges. The air isn't crisp cold as in Autumn, but there is change afoot.

In Southern California, what signs tell tale of this fifth season called Late Summer? Here the seasons change but the changes are more subtle in nature. Radical Cooks suggests you look no further than the farmer’s markets to appreciate the shifts into Late Summer. Look for the yellows and oranges. The stone fruit bid their final hurrah full of ripe, juicy flavor. See and taste the season sweet, centered, and subtle.  

To attune and transition well, find rhythms which make for simplicity and harmony. Center with meditation and yoga and brush aside the discordant energies heaped upon us with the start of school, 4th quarter goals, and more. All will be accomplished in due time. 

In terms of seasonal eating, choose foods which reflect the light and color change happening. Yellow or golden foods, round foods (like figs!), and those with centering qualities ~ millet, corn, carrots, cabbage, squash, yams are best to imbibe at this time. As always, make the most of plants at their peak, ripe and mature.

Enjoy the season. Enjoy life.