By AFEA member James Bartlett
Although according to our calendars late summer is not specifically a named season, it is most definitely a phase that the seasons go through. We often refer to it as the ‘Indian Summer’ which references the prolonged heat of the summer, coming into the autumn months. It is as though all the seasons are present, the weather is unpredictable, and it is though the seasons are trying to find a balance before descending again into autumn. The days are becoming shorter, the nights draw in and there is a chill in the air in the morning, with a haze in the evening. As the colours of the blooms of summer begin to fade, the fruit begins to ripen. The harvest has begun, and the nourishment of the coming months begin. It is a time to take stock, to see what we have available, and to plan ahead for the colder months. The harvest brings the security that we should get from out mother, on a physical, spiritual and mental level. Going back in time to when food wasn’t so easily transported and imported, it would’ve been a time in Europe for all manner of harvest festivals. A celebration of the work done throughout the months prior, and to celebrate the coming of the end of the year. It is a time of the transformation of the flowers into fruit and sustenance, and the transportation of the harvest.
The Earth element is mother Earth, our mother, that nourishes us and gives us substance without expecting anything in return. She gives selflessly to support us and the keep us held in centre. Although it is a time of rest and a time of support, it is also a time of movement and distribution. The need to gather, transport and distribute the harvest is important so that everyone gets enough of the bounty, and that they are supported and nourished.
When we look at the season within a person, it is important to see whether that person is able to ‘reap their own harvest.’ Are they able to use what they have grown? Are they able to transform their thoughts and ideas into reality? Are they satisfied with their harvest or are they hungry for more? This is the season within us, and if the harvest is not in place in everyone, this can lead to confusion, dissatisfaction, worry and chaos, especially at this time of year.