Beautiful August

August 11, 2015

I love August in Washington. It isn’t only because DC quiets down. It is a far easier city to get around in during August. Congress is in recess. The President is off on vacation. Therefore, there are fewer motorcades. And many of the lobbyists leave, as there is less to do on a day-to-day basis.

But another well kept secret about August is that there are fewer days over 90 degrees than July that are and it generally isn’t as humid as in July. Really!   Google it.  Fewer people and better weather would be reason enough to enjoy this time. But there is more.

A client canceled his appointment at the last minute and I went for a walk on Tuesday. It was 82 degrees and I felt blessed to have the chance to take a midday break.   Just a block away I was going north on 20th St., just above Massachusetts and I walked beneath a peach tree with over 50 unripe but amazing peaches hanging from all its branches. I was enraptured. It’s a block where no one stops to smell the roses, and I stopped right there. The canopy of peaches put me in another zone where I am in gratitude to nature. At that moment time was suspended and I could have been in an orchard in the country.

Having taken a moment to pause, I noticed flowers blooming.   Why wasn’t there a bench right here so that I could enjoy Mother Nature? I just smiled at this rather silly complaint.

In Chinese Medicine we call this time period between the fullness of Summer Fire and the condensation of energy of the Fall Metal, the Earth element.   The impact of this time is exactly as I experienced it. The energy is slower. It’s the time to rest in the hammock, gather all the harvest of berries, tomatoes, and watermelon and nature’s bounty, and avoid the insect bites. The frenetic energy of Fire is noticeably diminished. The days are shorter. The activity is quieter. You can imagine getting a fair amount of time to sip tea and look out the window, or better yet be outside.

The Earth energy is about the harvest, but within ourselves it is about being grounded and nurtured by the earth and those in our families around us.   Take the opportunity these days to walk and be in nature and feel the connection to the earth. Do what works for you to draw the earth energy into you.

And as the earth takes care of us, we also need to take care of the earth. Are there things you could do differently?   Do you compost? Do you have plants that you nurture? Do you eat more than you need? Do you take the opportunity to give to others who aren’t as fortunate?

In our lives we get to ask whether we produced the harvest that we sought this year? Would anything have been better for our family, children, or friends that we could have done differently?  Are we able to savor life? Like the peach tree, are we striving? Do we have a harvest that will ripen soon?

Luckily we have another month to savor this time. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Enjoy.  In light and love,




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