We are entering into the transition time, when we are in between autumn and summer, with one foot planted in each season. This is the time to soak up the delicate sway between the seasons; the sense of beginnings and endings, of the cycle repeating itself.
“This transition will come again in other years, but never again in quite the way it is this year. This is a unique moment in your life and the life of the planet. Just be. Right here. Now.” – John Kirkwood
We’re in the middle of a heatwave here; the temperature is in the high thirties and I’m spending my days sweating through chores and escaping to the cool of the house as often as I can.
The peppers and courgettes are flowering again, promising more fruits before the year is out. The haystacks are drying further; the river calls each afternoon for swimming and shade. In some ways, we’re in the midst of summer still.
But change is in the air.
The sun doesn’t peep over the hill now until gone seven in the morning; the cool evening air rises up and the sun goes down by eight. When I walk outside to let the chickens out of their pen, dew sprinkles the flowers. Blackberries are ripening on the brambles and the ground is littered with the first quinces beginning to tumble from the tree.
There’s an indescribable sense in the air that’s very different to the endlessly hot, wide open rush of June and July. Maybe it’s the crisp dry grasses beginning to break down into the ground, or the fact that every cloud feels as though it could herald the first autumn storms. The cardigan I pulled on when I rose early Tuesday morning. The piles of neatly stacked firewood appearing against houses in the village. We opened the last jar of last year’s chutney and I’m gathering empty jars for this year’s batch, from the tomatoes swelling in the garden and the courgettes still cheap at the market.
The fifth season: in between autumn and summer
There’s a name for these long golden days of September warmth: Indian Summer. It’s almost a season of its own, and in 5 elements theory this transition is indeed honoured with its own distinct set of characteristics. Earth is the element associated with the change of seasons, and especially this time between summer and Autumn when the yin energy of the colder months begins to seep into our consciousness.
In The Way Of The Five Seasons John Kirkwood describes Earth as the point of balance – neither yin nor yang, it represents a pause, the connecting space, the fulcrum. This is the point of grounding and of returning to our roots. I think of this when I notice the fruits and plants beginning to move down towards the earth, ready for the composting of Autumn to begin.
Our energy is no longer outwards and upwards. We are returning to base, to the root chakra, to our foundations. Beginning to circle back to the hearthside that will nourish us through winter and the stability that has absorbed the lessons of summer.
I’ve created a short workbook with prompts for reflection on this time of transition. You can download it here (if you’re already subscribed, look out for it arriving in your inbox very soon).
And if you’re curious about connecting to Autumn more fully when it arrives, join us for Release | Receive, a mindful journey through the coming season. Over 90 days you’ll be guided mindfully through the coming season, plus you’ll receive a package of goodies in the mail to remind you of the lived experience of theseason.
What changes have you noticed?
Can you see the first signs of Autumn arriving; do you experience the start of September as a distinct season? Are you feeling a sense of greater grounding right now, or are you expanding outwards? Sharing our experiences is a powerful way to root us to the season’s energy – let us know in the comments below.