Dusk came early to our valley this evening. Throughout the day there has been thick cloud obscuring the mountains after all the rain, but now the rumbling, flashes and downpours have ceased. All is calm, still and quiet. As the light dimmed I went to our front door and rang my tinkling little bell and called to the fair folk, the Tylwyth Teg, to come and bless my home. I left offerings of crusty home-baked bread spread with sweet thick honey, a bowl of milk and a glass of home made oak leaf wine for them to feast upon in the dark hours when prying human eyes are tightly shut in slumber.
For I am writing this on Lammas eve. By old beliefs and the natural calendar of the land this is the time when true summer begins to draw to an end and we enter early autumn. Be mindful that this is the beginning of the main harvest season – the grain harvest – although we have already had the hay cut and been gathering fruit, herbs and vegetables from the land for several months!
This is a good time to ponder on what we have gained and what we have sacrificed of ourselves over the light, bright season. Our own actions mirror the bounty and sacrifice which the Earth constantly enacts to sustain all the life on this planet.
This is also traditionally a good time to reassess or appraise relationships, contracts and agreements, and to enter into new ones too. Historically this was one of those times of year when people came together… a brief respite in the gruelling farming calendar between one lot of harvesting and the next… but still a time of light evenings and good weather when picnicking in the fields and boisterous games allowed the young to safely let off steam and the more sedentary to gossip and catch up on news… to discuss business and strike new deals… to come to fresh understanding with one’s neighbour.
There is something here for all of us to take away and think about… and to also put into practical action! It matters little where you live and what your daily occupation and employment is. Perhaps you might like to follow in the footsteps of your ancestors and become more aware of who and what is around you… of what you have to be thankful for… of what you need to improve or make new arrangements for… to decide what you have so far achieved and what you are willing to do or give of yourself in the coming months. And to reach out to your friends, family and neighbours in friendship and understanding.
A very merry, prosperous and joyful Lammas celebration to you all!