In the natural world, Late Summer, or Indian Summer, is a time of transformation. In the garden, it’s ripening season– that window of time where the fruits are developed but still changing internally and transforming toward readiness. The green tomatoes and rose hips are blushing toward red, the apples and pears look ready but still taste starchy or sour. Their sweetness is still in the process of developing.
Late Summer is also associated with the process of transformation in your body as well as in your garden. It relates to your digestion– the process of converting the goodness from your food into bio-available nutrients that can nourish and strengthen the cells of your body. A healthy digestive system is a foundation that enables us to feel vital, balanced, and able to efficiently restore our energy level. The two organs associated with Late Summer are the main digestive organs in Chinese medicine– the spleen and stomach. Your spleen is the source for building your energy up. In addition to digestive issues and fatigue, spleen-depletion can also trigger excess worry and anxiety. Of course we can improve our digestive health any time of the year but Late Summer is prime season for digestive healing because it’s the time when that process is especially supported by the momentum of the natural world. Endeavoring to improve our digestive health during this season is like riding the tide versus paddling against the current.
Late summer is the season associated with Earth element. Although our calendar does not inlcude a fifth season, we intuitively understand that this is a time that is distinct from both summer and autumn. The light is shifting, our attention is moving towards the future.This is a season of harvest.
In our body, as in nature, the Earth element is concerned with generating, nurturing, abundance and the ripening of the life force. On a mental or emotional level, Earth is in charge of ‘digesting’ our thinking and thoughts, and thus governs learning, thinking and analysis. The goal of this season is to return to our central core, nourish, generate, and continue to ripen our life force or Qi, as the body at this time is most attuned with Earth. Take time to take care of yourself, nurture yourself, and remember what is important for you to stay balanced and grounded to Earth. Nurture others as well, but without over-extending your energy as your balanced health is most important. To rebuild and promote Stomach and Spleen Qi, be conscious about easing the work of your stomach in digestion. Soups and stews are gentler on your stomach and focus on vegetables orange or yellow in color during this season.
Late summer is a time of transition between the ascending, active, expansive yang of spring and summer and the contracting, descending, receptive yin principles of autumn and winter. It is a relaxed, tranquil and flourishing time. It is the sharing of joy and laughter and the celebration of the harvest. It is connection: to self, others and the earth. It’s a time to harmonize body, mind and spirit.
In peace, love, joy, and light,
Susan and the BYC Tribe
source material: Five Seasons Healing, Six Fishes, and Brenda Kaser