One of the most beautiful things in this world is seeing a forest full of trees that have turned colours (the typical harvest colours of green, orange, red and yellow). Even my highway traffic drives the past week have been wonderful because I’ve been able to take in the beauty of the trees. October signifies the beginning of harvest, or fall. In Germany, Oktoberfest actually is the celebration of the harvest (and people thought it was just a good excuse to drink and eat pretzels! Not that you need one…). Think of the word “harvest”. It means to gather up what has grown over the spring/summer, to cook and store it, and let it sustain us for the winter until we can grow again. This “change of seasons” idea can be applied to the mental-emotional aspect as well. You have growth and movement in the summer (some how we tend to learn our best life lessons in the summer… probably because we give ourselves the time to actually experience life for once) and in september/october you collect this growth and the lessons you’ve learned and you store them in your subconscious (a mental “hibernation” if you will) which allows for all-over person growth. And that is why you may feel stagnant in the fall months, because the period of lateral (or visible) growth has stopped and now it’s time to sit and reflect (which eventually will lead to vertical (or deeper) growth).
Another word I associate with Harvest is nourishment. The season changes and our food cravings change (which has made for some interesting grocery trips for me and some ill-faded attempts at gluten-free/dairy-free pumpkin pie). No more summer cravings of cold citrus fruits and salads. We crave squash, pumpkin, cranberries, and root vegetables. We want cooked and slow roasted food* (seeing the theme here… allowing things to “cook”). Craving root veggies feeds our need to ground ourselves into the earth, to literally become “routed” and stable (once again, accounting for that “stagnant” feeling that those who love to move and can’t stay still feel… it’s not bad to stop once in a while in order to realize where you’ve moved to). Stopping is difficult, but you can’t grow roots if you are constantly moving (there is still growth, just underground (hence “subconscious”)).
So right now I’m going to stop running. I’m going to plant my feet on the ground and allow myself to feel the earth, to admire my surroundings. Then I’ll finally root myself and be able to harvest and store what I’ve grown over the past summer months.
Note*: A lovely tangent for you tcm people – during harvest we crave rooting and earth, the earth organ is the spleen, and digestion is best during this season when eating cooked warm foods (which is spleen happy food) – amazing!