So here we are at Lammas, or Lughnasadh if you like… 1st August and the first of the three pagan harvest festivals. Only the weather has been a tad chaotic recently and in many ways it doesn’t feel this is the moment. That’s the trouble with the otherwise fabulously convenient six weekly pagan festivals, it doesn’t always fit in with the seasons.
After a bitterly hard (for us) winter, and an atrociously wet spring, summer has been a bit of a burner. In the garden most of the flower beds have cycled through the annual colour sequence and are already at brown, apart from the grass which has adopted yellow as the new green. The trees around me are stressed and showing signs of drought, with leaves curling rather than going golden before falling to the dusty ground.
And although it’s rare to find a farmer happy with his lot, or unafraid to bewail his imminent backruptcy from the heated seat of his Range Rover, it seems the harvest we celebrate at Lammas may be small and costly. The wheat was harvested weeks ago and the cows are already eating into the hay and winter silage. Salad greens are in short supply having failed to grow in the high temperatures and some farmers have even begun to cull herds (ie sent them to early market) in order to reduce the burden of feeding them; something traditionally left to Samhain.
Luckily we can rely on our European partners to… oh, hang on… Our (for want of a better word) government are speaking of stockpiling food and other necessities as we approach Brexit day without any clue as to how to take our leave. Curious times we live in. But for a given value of Lammas, hail the harvest and bless the loaf.
May we see another.