|Posted on May 6, 2016 at 8:00 PM|
Yesterday was the solar term 立夏 lì xìa, the beginning of summer. I lost my first patient on this day three years ago. Exactly one year later, we lost my partner's maternal grandfather.
Since I became aware of the turning of the seasons and its effect on people, I've become...increasingly judgmental of the Gregorian? calendar which thinks that spring and autumn begin on equinox and summer and winter begin on solstice. By the lunar calendar, that's mid-season, not start of season. And, after adjusting for the consequences of modern medicine & how it sometimes delays or hastens death, SO many of the few people I know who have died naturally (i.e. at home) have left this world at the turning of a season. My brother, for one.
As humans, we are microcosms of heaven and earth. It's hard sometimes, for the body to catch up with the seasons changing. As in, the world changes, but your body lags...the converse can also be true, that your body moves toward the next season and the world hasn't gotten there yet. Either way, this lack of synchronicity causes dis-ease...not just death from terminal illness, but also seasonal allergies, cold & flu, changes in sleep, etc.
Summer is the season for love. The heart belongs to it, along with the color red, the direction south, and the element fire. According to the Suwen, we're supposed to
sleep late and rise early
enjoy the sun
let the emotions not feel angry
let all flowers come to fruition (i.e. make seedpods...is this a euphemism for sex?)
let the qi flow outward
as if that which you love is outside
to reflect the qi of summer
to cultivate growth
...so, I took myself out for a long leisurely bike ride.