This week, I have opened my arms to welcome Lammas=tide. It’s still very warm and green in our part of the UK but the air tells of a loss of strength, a weariness, a settling down. This air feels a little cooler on my skin – even in the sunshine – darkness falls noticeably earlier, we’ve worn the odd long-sleeved top and the mornings have a new fragility as the sun wakes a little later and the light is just a little bit translucent. Little by little.
Not many leaves have browned and fallen but their branches look slightly flacid and everything seems to have lost some potency. Although I love our name, “Autumn” for this season that is slowly tiptoe-ing in, I think that the American “fall” describes well Nature’s dropping, exhaling, loosening and releasing. I feel this in myself too; a shift in my thoughts from being borderline obsessively focused on our garden to preparing for the coming months of more time indoors (craft projects), more layers of clothing (time for a stock=take!) and turning inwards for spiritual and emotional growth and development. As I pivot on this shifting point, I like to give thanks for all the harvests in my life that the year has brought. Even the disappointing harvests as they will have brought learning as well as opportunity to be humbled and reminded that i am not in control of everything.
I find that we typically end up marking the cross-quarter festivals in little celebrations and rituals here and there over a few days. I guess this is because I take the signs of seasonal changes as my cue for these sabbats, whereas equinoxes and solstices have specific dates. So, this Lammas has been celebrated with:
- a couple of days camping in my native Cornwall. Rob and I have come to the conclusion that camping near wild places not only re-calibrates our body-clocks and natural rhythms, but also our souls and our connection as a couple and a family.
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Honey Wholemeal Cake recipe. YUM!
- Dangling bare feet in a stream and visualising this year’s challenges being washed away, down to the sea.
- acknowledging, gratefully, our harvests in the garden, in our selves and in our lives. Talking about what we would improve next year.
- a gingerbread man
- home-baked ciabatta attempt. As Lammas is traditionally the start of the wheat harvest, I like to make some special bread for it, usually something I’ve not made before. Rob took the lead on this and didn’t do too badly at all!
Happy Lammas-tide ♥
This post’s first two photos by Rob Decbois. Lammas paintings by (in order) Wendy Andrew, Jaine Rose and Deborah Holman.