The last gasp of summer. The death knell is about to sound. The Earth sends forth a summer finale, often in the shape of squash, and lots of it.
What is Late Summer?
Our Western view of the world sees only four seasons ~ spring, summer, fall, and winter. In traditional Chinese medicine a fifth season is recognized, commonly referred to as “Late Summer.” Time-wise, this season begins late August through the Autumn equinox. Think of Late Summer like this:
the last summer Labor Day retreat
standing at the edge of the dock
the air feels different
a scent of burnt embers
a dry leaf floats down upon the surface of the water
harbingers of cooler nights and shorter days
Should we worry? Shall we fret? Do we mourn this passing of the season? No. We adapt, align and celebrate. Soak up the season we now have in our lexicon as “Late Summer.” Five quick tips on how to do Late Summer:
1. Shorten the To Do List. Skip the buying of school clothes. There’ll be more than a few weeks of hot school days where the kids can wear their summer threads. Pick up the shopping list later in the fall.
2. Say hello to yellow. Yellow-orange is the color of the Earth element, so include yellow foods in your diet such as millet, squashes, quinoa, carrots, garbanzo beans, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, and papaya.
3. Meditate on the harvest. If it’s not coming out the garden now it will be soon. So eat up! While you’re imbibing on summer’s growth and bounty, take a minute or to and consider how you’ve grown over these summer months. Consider your own harvest ~ what worked and what didn’t.
4. Let time stop. If you find yourself struggling against the slowing of people, cars, and time, consider it a signal to follow suit. Jump into the slow lane for once and let your activity move in a more dreamlike fashion.
5. Worry not, or at least a little less. The emotion that the five element theory of traditional Chinese medicine associates with Late Summer is worry/concern. We know it well. Will the school I’m starting work out? How will this last financial quarter go? So much anxiety and worry surrounds the beginning. Obviate these emotions with a little trust and faith.
And then ~ check out Late Summer blog posts and recipes in the coming weeks and make the most of this Late Summer season!