I don’t really need a calendar to know fall is here because:
The huckleberries and crabapples are ready to be picked.
I can see in the branches and leaves of the deciduous trees that the qi is contracting.
My evergreens have just finished their leaf/needle drop.
In the morning I can smell the ocean.
The nights are cooler.
More precisely, I know we’re about six weeks away from winter because early this morning, for the first time this year, I heard the geese honking as they headed south. I’ve been here in the PNW awhile.
In the Rooster month I’m out in the garden wrapping things up and getting ready for next year. I’ll be using all sorts of metal tools for cutting, digging, dividing and transplanting. I’ll be replacing any broken bits of my drip irrigation, checking and cleaning my rain barrels, pruning, pulling out the weeds, mulching, and harvesting the huckleberries and crabapples.
Do you know what time it is?
Fall is the season of Metal, the time when historically, we would be preparing for winter by hunting, gathering, harvesting crops, canning, preserving, and slaughtering livestock to be stored away for our human version of hibernation. For those of us who aren’t farmers or gardeners fall is the time for more modern rituals of going back to school, having the boiler serviced, or getting out the soup pot and sweaters.
Fruits, nuts and berries are the distillation of the energy of the tree or bush and therefore related to both the season and the element of Metal.
It takes three seasons of the year to make the fruits that we harvest in the fall such as apples and chestnuts. Three seasons of the year – that adds up to around 39 weeks which is the same amount of time it takes to make a baby.
It’s always the same cycle once spring comes: seed to sprout, sprout to bud, bud to flower, flower to fruit. We tend to take this cycle for granted because we don’t think about the sheer amount of energy it takes for a plant or tree to produce fruit. There’s a reason that apple trees go dormant and new mothers may be exhausted. It’s the Metal.