Okay, well September is passed, but October is officially here and hunting season just around the corner. The temperature is starting to cool down for the season and the leaves are turning and will soon be falling. Gardens have started to die or go dormant and the lawn needs to be mowed less often. Traditionally autumn was a time to gather the last of the gardens produce and hunt for meat needed to sustain life through the long, cold winter ahead. We can do the same thing within ourselves. It is a time to sit back and reflect on our lives, store what is needed and let go of what is not.
As with the seasons, the 5 Elements are a cycle. Each Element can relate to a season, time of day, and stage of growth. Autumn relates to the Metal Element. When written in Chinese, the symbol ‘Metal’ represents ‘something of value buried deep inside the Earth.’ Each of us has this ‘valued item’, and autumn is time to search and be inspired by this piece of ourselves. Like the autumn, Metal also relates to dusk. Just as summer is weaning in the fall, dusk is when the light is dying on the horizon and darkness is taking over. It can be a beautiful time of day, think of how many people are inspired by a sunset or have made a wish on the first star of the night.
Metal is also associated with death and grief. Death isn’t always about a loved one; as in the autumn, death is about the plants going dormant or being harvested and the animals preparing for hibernation. I will be discussing grief and more detail near to the end of the month.
Within our bodies, Metal comprises the Lung & Large Intestine - two organs that would otherwise not be connected in Western Medicine. The Lung brings oxygen into the body and expels carbon dioxide. This act of breathing is (supposed to be) a steady and reliable part of every day life bringing rhythmic order to daily tasks. In ancient China, this steady rhythm was a direct connection with a higher spirit – the air around us connects us with the ‘heavens’ (whatever heavens translates to in your own spiritual belief)
The Large Intestine acts in opposition to the Lungs. In the kingdom that is our bodies, the Large Intestine is the ‘trash collector.’ Nobody really talks about the trash collectors, but I doubt we would feel like the Upper Peninsula was so pristine if we didn’t employ a few throughout the area. In Western Medicine the Large Intestine will absorb the last bits of usable water & food matter while disposing unnecessary particulates. This filtration system has work immaculately. It must be precise, and well organized. Within this system there has to be very clear distinction between ‘helpful’ and ‘waste’ material.
So this fall, go out for a walk – whether it be 10 miles or simply out to your porch. Notice the leaves changing. What other changes do you notice with the change of seasons? Be inspired. Watch a sunset. Value living life in the moment. Take a deep breath of pure UP air and release what needs to be let go. How do you feel?