Summer is a free fall, a delightful melting time. Sure, there’s still work to be done, responsibilities to family, job and friends but its also time to walk a little slower. Enjoy the glorious display, the gold of life’s abundance, warmth, sunsets, fruit, long weekends, patios and only one layer of clothes. Chinese Medicine recognizes this phase of summer as a central hub of transition.
Unlike the dramatic turn of New Year’s glitz and glam, late summer is a softer marking of time. This time in summer, as it begins its transition toward fall is a subtle reminder of where we are, what we have done and where we are going.
Especially in these next few weeks as the anxiety, panic and preparation sets in for those exciting back to school days! Ones perspective determines the level and nature of the excitement; parents of young children feel differently from those of young adults off to college. A student entering their last year of high school will experience the beginning of the end differently than a student about to broach a thesis.
Still, there is a point of reference that we can all share as students of the arts, science, business, trades, holistic medicines and any thing that propels us to develop our minds, bodies and spirits. It’s that what hold us all, it’s Earth, the point of reference for all life as we know it.
In the Five Element Tradition of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood; Earth is often positioned in the center, the fulcrum between each element. Earth relates to our muscles, our ability to consume and break down food, blood production, thinking, stability, late summer and the start of harvest gold.
Earth in Chinese medicine is discussed as present in all elements as a place all elements migrate between the transition yin to yang and yang again back toward yin. From one element to the next Earth is the pivot point where there is a place of balance between the cold, subtle, dark nature of yin and the dynamic, bright, fiery yang.
I passed a man last night on the street. It was early evening, still traces of purple in the sky, warm still after a glorious summer day. He was musing to himself. As I got closer about to pass I could here him in his Island accent, “Oh, the day, the day, oh I wish it would never end.” I do not know which Island, however his sound and the colour of his skin would suggest his homeland was very Yang. I too am Islander, though my skin pale and my Island very Yin.
And as I passed this soul, listening to his words on the soft summer eve, I looked toward him and said ‘I wish too’. Together we smiled and knew. Here in Toronto, us two, this moment of balance, the fulcrum point of transition, time, space, season, life and at the deepest level there was no question of perfection in the afterglow of gold.