It all started here: a practice of deep, seasonal reflection. No matter where you are in your spiritual practices, this is the foundation. Let's tonify the core! August: harvest + sustenance.
To me, what sustains is reciprocity. This is something I truly began to see, feel, and understand when I worked on an organic, regenerative farm for a season in Central Florida this year. I recently wrote on Substack about it too because it felt so meaningful at this moment in time. Thank you for this thoughtful piece!
The wheel of the year season timing make sooooo much more sense than switching seasons at the solstices and equinoxes like our standard calendar. I think it hit me last year from reading something in one of your books and I had a ‘duh’ moment too. Of course August is the beginning of fall and Halloween is the beginning of winter! The equinoxes are the inflection points and the solstices the peaks/valleys ... so them being the mid-points of the seasons feels so much more accurate. Also my day job is using math to understand nature and I just had a major nerd out inside my head about sine waves and seasons. Yay!
So glad you brought up journaling and the joy of noticing the small seasonal changes. I’m working up a post on just that!
I'm on the the flipside, rural New Zealand. August to me has very little to harvest, there is however lots of anticipation and hope for future abundance. It's planning for this warmer future, which and how many tomatoes to grow sustaining me right now. Lots of lists, ordering new seeds with hot tea in hand. Also taking a moment to appreciate the stillness of the longer quiet nights before the busy seasons begin. 🌱
Here in central Virginia, I’ve noted for the past few years that the first of August always seems to bring with it slightly cooler weather. The mornings aren’t as muggy, we’ll actually experience a day or two where the weather actually feels cool. The tulip poplars are turning yellow and losing their leaves (though I wonder every year if it’s heat related or season related!), and the corn in the fields of the county, is ripe. Part of me wonders what the corn spirit of those fields might look like every time we pass one, and whether the extra large fields would have more than one there. In my mind, I can see them dancing when the wind blows across the corn. I’ve also noticed how the hummingbirds are getting a little frantic, visiting the feeder more often, and fighting the whole time.
So many tiny seasonal changes, even on a month to month basis, it’s often quite fun to note them, and even to write them down: I’d love to have a consistent nature journal, but I’m notoriously bad at keeping it up! Be that as it may, it’s always fun to see the old journal entries, and note when I’ve noticed these things in previous years.
What sustains me is my family -knowing that we are around to be together, annoy each other (at times), share life's challenges and bounty together and know what a blessing this is. I appreciate nature but don't always have a green thumb but I do take time to notice. I follow the mantra of Georgia O'Keffee to take time to enjoy the flowers and nature, which is reflected in my Instagram (3,000+ photos of nature only). Having grown up with parents who took us to Lancaster PA, I appreciate those who farm especially the day laborers whose sweat and livelihood is to bring food to the market.
As someone living on an old farm and aiming to get back to the old ways of living when it comes to growing our food I can relate to it being harvest season. This season is quite hectic with harvesting and preserving. At times even overwhelming but at the same time I'm so grateful for the gifts of Mother Earth. Living in tune with nature is challenging and rewarding. It makes me realize why certain things are done at a certain season, it all connects and makes time for what's needed to be done. The wheels are turning and I'm looking forward to this year's harvest and a different air and energy.
Driving home earlier today I reflected on how the heat has been driving the life out of many of the plants in the area. There is still lots of green in the dense patches of trees but the crisp bright plants and flowers have withered up. It’s not Fall as I remember it from Va but clearly a turn towards the reset of winter here in the coastal south. Having put up everything from the garden last week, your prompts are perfect for thinking about sustenance beyond the food we grow.
My son, daughter in law and I have been spending weekends day hiking the Appalachian Trail in PA. Half way up the mountain my daughter in law began noticing autumn leaves on the ground and then the acorns falling from the trees. I could feel the change of seasons inside myself but thought the beginning of august was a bit early. Thank you Mother Earth for showing me my internal clock was right on time.🍁🍂
Holy canoli! I was beginning to feel that autumn vibe, but I poo-poo'ed it. "Fall isn't until late September Nneka. You've got 2 more months to go." Plus I live in sunny, hot Miami. The subtle change in the air and leaf color doesn't happen.
Gah! Thank you for sharing this tidbit! It "shouldn't" take an external entity to validate what I felt in my Being. I'm intentionally working myself out of that this season. Still, it's nice to have confirmation. I'll consider it a nod from the U.