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2013 - Late Summer

The cloying wet blanket of humidity is ever-present right now.  That is a sure indication that the Earth season has arrived.  The Earth element corresponds with the late summer.  The peak of the summer/fire has passed and we are now segueing towards fall/metal.
Nature reflects the earth energy with its ripe, round and juicy fruits and vegetables.  They are full and weighting their branches back towards the dirt.  Now is the time to get your toes in the garden and pick those delicious savory flavors from the vine.  Nature is taking care of us with scrumptious foods and flavors.  The nature of the earth is thoughtful and nurturing.  In that vein you might want to share your crop with non-gardeners around you (especially your acupuncturist who has a hankering for home grown tomatoes!).
The Earth is the quintessential mother energy.  The stereotype of the grandmother over feeding the ones she loves is legit.  Food is nourishment for our bodies, minds and spirits.  In the classical Chinese texts it is considered a major part of our “post heavenly qi,” the qi that we can create.  It literally provides the energy we need to sustain all three entities (or the oneness of the sum!).  That is why you are what you eat.  The quality of what you take in determines the quality of your qi.
The stomach and the spleen are the officials of the earth element.  The stomach is responsible for digestion whereas the spleen is responsible for the transportation and distribution of the nutrients.  This is true for the mind, body and spirit.  We do as much digestion at the mental level as we do the body level.  For many of us we masticate ideas much more so than we do food.  The earth out of balance tends to whirl things around, over and over.  The circular motion of worry can become the indigestion of the mind!
Many families are spending this time in August together, on vacation savoring the time left until the letting go of the fall is required.  Busy school and work schedules will soon interfere with lazy mornings and long afternoon walks.  Some families will be saying goodbye to children who are going away to school.  This may create a special tug on the heart strings of the mother within all of us. 
So, whether it is your child, your dog, your cat or your loved one, spend time savoring each other.  Make an effort to take care of and nurture not only the ones around you, but yourself as well.  Find a way to give what they need and get what you need.  Satisfaction is something we all deserve.  Fulfillment can start in the garden, but it is not where it ends.  If you don’t know what is fulfilling to you, make an effort to figure it out.  Take the time to nourish and care for yourself.
I look forward to nourishing you all this late summer/earth season.  If there is some way that I can me more helpful in that regard, please let me know.  I am nourished and fulfilled by each and every one of you.  Thanks you for sharing the bounty of your lives with me.
With peace and sweet nectarines,          Shani

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