Seasonal Tips

Late Summer

Late Summer

The harvest time is described as a fifth season. It occurs towards the end of summer when the ripeness and heaviness of humidity mix with a hint of the coming fall. It is a time to savor, to store, to give from the generosity abundance suggests. Sympathy is a word ascribed to this season, as we are asked to consider the needs of others when ours are met. We can also be sympathetic to ourselves and take time to savor and recover from the efforts of the previous season. The stomach and spleen are emphasized in this Earth energy. Those organs have to do with transformation and assimilation, as well as containment, clarity of thought and stability. In late summer, we have the last of the fresh summer produce available for one last time before leaving. It is a time of decrease — less intensity of light and heat, but also, turning towards fall and winter. If we store the harvest at this time, we’ll have something to see us through the darker colder months. You can see how this can be both literal and metaphorical. It is a time to slow down and to feel and express gratitude for the daily bread (any kind of nourishment) we have received. 


Update: 2023

May and June are often my favorite months. Comfortable temperature, lower humidity, greenery, blue skies or nourishing rain, birdsong, frog symphonies and lighter clothing, to name just a few gifts. I learned from Chinese philosophy that after the heavens’ manifest gifts to the earth disappear in the autumn, they return resplendent in the spring and early summer offering gifts for us all to savor and finally harvest, share and store in the late summer.

I write this to encourage us all to keep emerging, just as we see new plants come up and out, no matter their surroundings. These past few years have challenged and limited us, as well as strengthened and expanded us, in ways seen and yet to be seen. We have known fear and isolation, discouragement and courage, hope and disappointment. While we may feel that we’ve moved on, we are likely carrying yet to be fully understood consequences of the pandemic and these political...

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