August

The farmer’s markets are in full swing. Fruit, vegetables and flowers are in glorious abundance. There’s a sense of plenty and also a sense that summer will soon be gone. Fruition and change rub against each other. They are truths lived simultaneously. There’s always some kind of August in our lives. It’ a good subject to mull over for a month.

Phrases posted on Facebook, August 2021

So much of our first beginnings as a species were about noticing what was wrong and threatening and therefore protecting ourselves as best we could. Now, we still seem to notice what is wrong more than what is right. We still need protection. But if we are to be august in living our lives we need to appreciate and build on what is noble (a definition of the word august), or we will still be millions of years behind our true potential as humans.
The month of August tends to feel heavy with lot of heat, but today it is raining in RI. The ground and the trees are drinking. Every drop is needed. Heat and rain in balance make for a good growing season. That’s true inside our psyches, too. The heat of anger or passion and the tears of forgiveness or release, embraced as part of us, make a balance that bears good fruit in our lives.
For many August is vacation time. Without leisure we burn out. Taking it easy in a workaholic culture often means we work at our leisure, too, cramming it so full we need a vacation from our vacation. Leisure is precious. Here’s a quote from Marv and Nancy Hiles that I like: There is a time to take our lives in hand, but there is also a time to take our hands off our lives, and to leave what seems apparent and trust ourselves to the hidden.
As said earlier, one synonym for August is “noble”.  Another is “of importance”. Now, that yet another Covid variant has appeared in Latin America, we realize how important protecting and supporting the health of humans all over the world is. We can no longer just do what we want to do. What each of us does affects the whole. Then knowing and acting on behalf of the whole is both noble and of great importance.
Here’s a silly thing I am daring myself to try. Instead of asking friends, “What’s up? I’m going to ask, “What’s August in your life?” Maybe some good conversations will ensue.
“We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave. The temperature is rising . . .” so the song goes. If anything can remind us of global warming it is the heat in August. Let’s make our carbon footprint as small as we can. Let’s combine all our errands and therefore use the car less. Let’s turn off unnecessary lights and take shorter showers.
If enough of us are careful it will make a difference. But the central August thing to realize is that we must NOW do whatever we can to help our earth home to still be a home for our children’s children.
I’m at home with the AC on. It’s hot outside, and for a lot of us it will be imperative to be inside. I feel a great deal of gratitude for the cool air coming out of the AC units but I also feel a not so happy feeling of using my share of electricity when others don’t have any.  We live in paradoxes. Taking care of my comfort impacts someone else. What we each do is August. Not an easy thing to contemplate. Sigh!
Here’s a wonderful “Augustine” reminder from Julia Cameron: We are like songbirds. When one of us gives voice to our true nature, it is contagious and others soon give tongue as well. We do not live or create in isolation. Each of us is part of a greater whole, and, as we agree to express ourselves, we agree to express the larger self that moves through us all.
When we are doing the least little that we might think is of no account, let’s remember the famous quote by Helen Keller. It speaks of August things: I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
It’s one thing to coast along on what we already have and know, and another thing to truly receive whatever of good is present in our lives. Here’s a reason as told by   Jack Cornfield: Whatever we cultivate in times of ease, we gather as strength for times of change. It’s an august piece of advice. Why not gather strength for robust participation in whatever comes our way?
Entering our daily-ness half-heartedly, we get half-hearted lives. The every day is our temple. It needs every little bit of us for it to be whole hearted and noble i.e. august. Every tiny smidgeon counts!
There’s no escaping who we really are as much as we might sometimes like to by denials and distractions. The only way out seems to be to love our faults and foibles to death. That’s daring do!! . . . an august thing.
In a moment of ennui, yesterday may seem the same as today. But looking again, not a single one of our given days will return. Carpe Diem, as summer slips her august skirts into September and early fall.
I believe that the most august thing we can be about is what John Roger advised: Above all, practice being loyal to your soul. It is a way we’ll keep august every month of the year.