The clouds are thick above me, right now, as I walk up to the vegetable garden at Lughnasadh. The rains are coming and going, dragging their dirty, grey skirts across the rolling country to the south, and Lugh, as expected of an Irish Sun God, is proving as contrary as ever. But am I snippy that my sleeve edges are damp, or that my socks feel squelchy through my shoes? That the nape of my hair is wet and my fingers are colder than any fingers should be in midst of an English summer? No, I am not.
Lughnasadh, lammas, first harvest, call it what you will, is a time to reap what you have sown: in the garden, in your heart, in your head. And as I cut courgettes and rosemary, dig new potatoes and pull greens, as I carefully place eggs beside strawberries and tomatoes, I think of all the different seeds I’ve sowed this season. Not all of them sprouted, not all of them made it safe to the finish line, and not all of them grew into the very things I wanted them to be, but even in the failures, the losses and the complete fuck ups, I learned something new, harvested a little wisdom from life’s rich compost heap: I planted a seed and discovered something important – the magic is in the doing. This is the lesson I am taking from Lughnasadh.
So, no, I don’t feel snippy about getting rained on; all I can feel right now is gratitude.
“Your beloved and your friends were once strangers. Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them. Similarly, your identity and vision are composed of a certain constellation of ideas and feelings that surfaced from the depths of the distance within you. To lose these now would be to lose yourself.”
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.
For more information on Lughnasadh there is an interesting article here.