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Posted by Michael Finkelstein | September 8th, 2010

Barley Moon

n some cultures, September marks the month of the “Harvest Moon,” which brings to mind a time of transition: vegetables move from the crops to our tables, the long warm days gradually shorten and cool, and the seasons progress from summer to fall.  In the northeastern United States, soon the crisp air will drift through the brilliant hues of the changing foliage. In no time at all, leaves will cover the ground and the tree limbs from which they spawned will turn gray and bare, their leafless branches reaching out into the sky. Fall is the time when the playful exuberance of summer yields and our thoughts begin to move inward as we take stock of what we harvested.
In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is associated with the lung element, and specifically is a time for release. Just as the trees let go of their spent leaves, so must we.
But this is getting ahead of ourselves, as eager as we might be for the cool refreshing air, autumn has not yet arrived! To make the most of this last full moon of the summer this is actually the right time to pause and take the opportunity to reflect upon the season that is coming to a close, before leaping ahead.  Much the way we gather baskets of vegetables from the ripened late summer gardens, we can gather our thoughts of the past months.  What lessons have we learned?  What experiences did we have and what memories remain?  As we give thanks for the bounty of harvest, we can also feel gratitude for the lessons of summer.  
What is in your basket?

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