July 10, 2018
I am taking this week off work to stay home in our garden, swim in our local lake, and enjoy summer. The weather has exploded with a heat wave of hot sunny days. Summer is here! I am picking peas and strawberries from our garden, flowers are blooming profusely: daylilies, California poppies, Shasta daisies and catmint. Asian pears, peaches and raspberries are growing bigger daily in our orchard. Monarch butterflies are feasting on the milkweed. Life is abundant and rich.
In Chinese medicine, this is the time of the Fire Element. Like a flower in bloom, we too are at the peak of our physical functioning during the Fire season. The energy of the universe supports this external expression of life. Fire energy is related to happiness, enjoyment, laughing, having fun, and playing. This is the time of year to find what makes us happy and do it. Joy, like fire, is ephemeral and expansive, warming us and bringing us light and laughter.
The Fire Element governs the heart, small intestine, heart protector, and triple heater - our organs of circulation, digestion, and temperature modulation. We can strengthen these organs by living according to the energy of the season. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Shop at the farmer’s market or grow a garden. Cooling foods are cucumbers, watermelon, salads, lemons, and limes. Herbs that help to cool us are mint, chamomile, and lemon balm.
Summer is short in New England. Spend as much time as you can outside and enjoy nature’s bounty. Take in the beauty and perfection during this brief time.
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
- Mary Oliver