Harvest August 1, 2012

Today is Lughnasadh, a Celtic cross-quarter holiday celebrating the first fruits of what has been sown and preparing for the harvest to come. I don’t typically observe it, as I’m not much in tune with farm cycles. I notice that the selection at the farmer’s market is larger: more vegetables, the first pig from my favorite local farm was just slaughtered. But I don’t garden, nor do I live in a community centered on farm life, and so this holiday doesn’t often register for me.

However, a lot of people in my social media circles are either writing about Lughnasadh or reposting articles about it. I realize that I am actually feeling the weight of the harvest to come; I am aware of the first fruits. I mentioned the farmer’s market – I was there yesterday, and I did buy some of the freshly slaughtered pig, for which I give thanks. More than that, I just returned from Kansas, a place where everything is centered around farm life. The harvests are off, it seemed to me, because of the intense and early heat. Even more personally, I feel that there are many aspects of my life that need weeding, harvesting, and general tending. But I do not have the time and space for it. I have one more trip to make!

In ten days time I want to dig into the garden of my life – so many nourishing things need tending! Adam and I need to re-work our schedule, who looks after the kids when. He needs more time to work and I want to explore paid work. He and I need some quality time together. After getting all the rest I need, I must start getting more exercise – how to make that happen? How can I fit in my spiritual practice? I suspect I’ll need to get up earlier. I still need to sort out some things with a few friends. Several friends have Big Important Things going on in their lives and I want to make more space for them. Reworking this blog has been on my mind for 6 weeks, so that’s on my list. I want to explore what this year has brought me so far, and how I can make the best of what’s left of the year. I’m feeling an intense desire to hunker down, go radio-silent, disappear.

Another aspect of Lughnasadh is that it honors Lugh, Celtic god of heroes and light. I don’t feel all that heroic. I feel mostly frazzled, defensive, and anxious. But strong boundaries and exquisite self-care are part of the heroic life and so I cling those things. I look to the light to illuminate, strengthen, revive; to console, comfort, and embolden.

Let’s give thanks for the first fruits and embrace the remaining light of the summer.

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