Already it’s high summer! Our ancestors and modern pagans alike celebrate Lammas as the union of Sun and Earth, of God and Goddess, the first Harvest of grain. This time for gathering and appreciating great abundance is also Lughnasa, the great festival of Lug, the Celtic god of light. August is his sacred month, with feasting, fairs, games, and bonfires – all of which are now occurring abundantly.
Since moving to Sonoma County, I’ve been struck by the amount of work involved in research, preparing the soil, tilling and planting, irrigating and integrated pest management, and finally, the harvest. It’s truly a labor of love.
Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva wrote of August as the month of “late kisses, and late lightning.” I just observed my first birthday without my mother, who died last October. Especially now, I feel keenly the quick turning of the wheel of the year, and soon, probably before I’m ready, it’ll be October. Plunging my hands in the richly-scented earth teeming with worms (and less-helpful bugs), plucking as much as we can eat, cook, and preserve, I’m thinking even more of her, and appreciating everything we have.