On Labor Day, sort of
But actually "Late Summer" Earth
Like all American holidays, Labor Day is fairly stupid and its "celebration" is almost entirely divorced from any true virtue or esteem but I actually like it! Because it signifies a very important season change in Chinese philosophy.
Unlike the conventional idea of seasons, Five Element theory identifies FIVE SEASONS, and the end of August denotes the turn from SUMMER to LATE SUMMER, which is its own season.
"Early Summer" is the FIRE ELEMENT, all the petals and leaves in their greatest expression. Fire is finally recognizing yourself at your brightest, fullest, and most realized, seeing yourself as you were created to be.
Immediately following this self-reflection is LATE SUMMER–the Earth Element, which is about how we INTEGRATE what we have seen; how we understand and digest our self-knowledge so that we may absorb its nutrition. This is the time of Harvest.
Late Summer is an auspicious time because nothing is growing anymore, but nothing is dying yet either. It's an ecological exhale–a cosmic pause–asking us to take stock of where we are, "rectifying the accounting" of our individual process of becoming.
Late Summer asks, "Now that I know the truth of myself, how do I understand it? What is nourishing for me, and what isn't? What is working, and what must I let go of? From the position of Summer's joy, what do I take with me?"
In its silly way, Labor Day represents the pause intrinsic to Late Summer; the stillness and respite between Summer's brightness and Fall's decline.
Labor Day finds us in this chapter break when nothing is growing but nothing is dying yet, and asks us to exhale here. A chance to breathe, take stock, stand in our center, free of momentum, for a moment, and hold ourselves in the careful regard that can only be made from the neutral space of pause.
For a split second, the ferris wheel is at its peak and isn't falling yet, and in that split second, you have the best view. It's time to harvest.