June 21, 2019
This is my favorite time of year. The long days of the Summer Solstice shine as roses, peonies, allium, clematis, and iris bloom in my garden. Strawberries are starting to ripen. We’re enjoying fresh-picked spinach, arugula, parsley, and lettuce. Orioles, bluebirds, goldfinch, and evening grosbeak visit the feeder. Hummingbirds dart between flowers. The abundance is rich and skies are blue. This is the glorious beginning of summer.
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. 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 seasonal fruits and vegetables. Cooling foods are cucumbers, watermelon, salads, lemons, limes, and herbs such as mint and lemon balm. Living in New England, we are all low in Vitamin D. Spend time in the sunshine, replenishing that necessary vitamin and source of energy
Go outside and take in the glory of your one wild and precious life.
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