It’s July. Things are heating up all over. Nights are sultry and steamy. The full (Hay, Blessing, Buck and Thunder) moon is around the corner. The earth is ripening with her fruit, as are we in ourselves. This is a special time of year that is often overlooked as it sits squarely between Litha and Lughnasadh on the Wheel of the year. Yet I would unequivocally say to you that it is supremely important to honor and recognize it for a moment, even completely casually. Let me tell you why. (oh and while you’re reading, you can listen to one of my ripening songs, if you like
If Litha (Summer Solstice) is the time of year I like to call the Blooming (and it is) and Lughnasadh (August 1) is the celebration of the first Harvest, then doesn’t it fit that the time between must be the time when we ripen? And by ripen, baby, you know what I am talking about! In seasonal terms of course we are watching the fruit get fat and sweet and juicy for the plucking. Flowers release their intoxicating perfumes, spreading their petals open as far as they dare to lure us all in. Bees are buzzing, collecting honey for their queens; animals are nesting, feeding, hunting and gathering. What’s also happening? They’re getting busy folks and so are we.
Our spirits and bodies naturally respond to the changing of the seasons and the turning of the wheel. In Autumn, we begin to pull inside and reflect a little about the passing year. In winter, we are completely within and bundled away from the world, staying close to family. In the Summer, we shed our clothes and our inhibitions. We get hot, sweaty and sexy. We feel succulent and languid and want to spread ourselves open to the world -metaphorically and physically. That’s a natural state and reflects what’s happening externally.
When we, as people, ripen into ourselves, we also want to open up and spread our petals wide for everyone. We want to lure with our own intoxicating perfume, whether that be appreciation and pride for your own abilities, opening your heart to love and being vulnerable or literally opening up for sex. Yes, sex baby! We want to be seen and admired, appreciated and appreciate, love and be loved, touch and be touched. Maybe you flirt a little more with your partner, touch them more, are more generous with lingering and inviting looks. Maybe you feel your heart opening up and have more generosity, kindness, forgiveness, cordiality for friends, coworkers and children. In all cases, we are feeling our own desire to share our Ripening self.
So what does it mean to ripen, exactly? Well, we could say at it’s simplest, that it is to make ripe. But that’s not very satisfying is it? So we’ll dig deeper and say that to make ripe is also to mature; to reach maturity or a perfectly proper condition/state of being. Oho, well now we’re getting somewhere aren’t we? This ‘perfectly proper condition’ happens on all sorts of levels and at varying times throughout our lives. Anatomically speaking, as women, we ripen when we ovulate, so that we can conceive children. We ripen when we are gestating in pregnancy and we ripen when we have had no children. And then there’s the whole ripening for sex bit...
I won’t begin to assume when a woman or a man “actually” ripens. Having lived through my 20s, 30s, and now 40s, I can without question say that each one of those defining moments was a ripening for me. My twenties was about fumbling toward independence from parents and finally realizing there really is an identity there. In my 30s it was nurturing and deepening who and what I thought that person was while attempting to nurture children. In my 40s that identity was completely defined and strengthened and I learned to give a whole lot less fucks. It’s true! Wait and see. Now at 50, I have NO fucks to give whatsoever and I am finally feeling RIPE. But that’s me.
Our bodies move forward, growing, changing, adapting and perfecting themselves into the perfect reflection (condition) of our lives and how we have lived. As we mature throughout our lives, we learn from experiences that may be full of joy or shatter us apart and therefore we ripen into a deeper and wiser person. We are more loving, generous, and open. We have more to give, because there is just more of us and we know it. When we reach that place, we know only abundance, there is no lack. When we ripen, our spirit is aglow with the joy of life – the pleasures of life, in all their sticky, funky, luscious and tantalizing glory.
Grab it! Taste it, touch it, hold it, open to it. Give to it, nourish it, feel it, pluck it. But most of all, honor and cherish it, you sexy beast. You’ve earned it.