As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, each year I have difficulty succumbing to Metal! And what does that mean, pray tell? Well, those last warm days we all cherish before cool weather sets in represent what we refer to as Indian Summer. In the Chinese Five Element Theory, this time is called Late Summer and is represented by the Earth element. The fall Equinox, September 22, was the official energetic transition from late summer to autumn, or Earth to Metal.
Late summer is not a “season” we acknowledge in our culture. We recognize only four seasons: summer, fall, winter and spring. But, in the Five Element theory, there are five seasons: Winter is represented by the Water Element, which is responsible for development and reproduction and promotes introspection.The Wood Element reflects growth; it carries the seed of new life and is associated with spring. Fire symbolizes the warmth, brilliance and vitality of summer. Earth brings fullness, fertility, order and stability. It is an element of transmutation and represents late summer.The Metal element represents the harvest of fall. It reflects a gathering of soul and spirit and brings decline and contraction with shorter days and colder nights.
Thus my difficulty succumbing to Metal, with its shorter days and colder nights! This transition is always a time of tension for me, so I resist. I try to ignore the inevitable changes by continuing to plant in my garden and engage in other garden activities.
However, there comes a time when I can no longer ignore the pumpkins that suddenly begin to dominate the landscape, or the early Halloween decorations that begin to show up in the garden stores! It becomes increasingly obvious I am being forced to release my hold on the Earth energy and allow myself to become a full-blown participant in the activities appropriate with the fall season. Its Metal energy insists on change and a sense of order I can no longer deny.
I reluctantly stop planting and begin my garden clean up to assist it in preparation for the coming transition to the Water element of winter. I change out my pots, replacing them with plants that enjoy the cooler nights. I add pumpkins and gourds. While I know, of course, this natural evolution will happen with or without me, those outdoor pots become a visible statement that I am no longer in resistance.
What other changes in our life do we resist? How long do we put off succumbing to them? And when we finally do, how do we acknowledge and celebrate the fact that we have actually moved forward? Each season brings the opportunity to look inward at what change or changes are waiting to be acknowledged. The energy of the changing seasons serves as gentle reminders. There is a rhythm to everything in life; there is a time for growth, and a time for rest. Being in the flow acknowledges these life cycles. And we are reminded of the truth of the Feng Shui Principle: nature is our model.