Sunday, 1 August 2010


Wikipedia notes that: "August 1 is Lammas Day (loaf-mass day), the festival of the wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop. In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called 'the feast of first fruits'.

This is a short meditative piece of writing for Lammas:


Listen, and you can hear my voice, in the blade of grass rising, in the earthworm churning the good soil beneath your feet, in the land beneath your feet that is now my gift for you to use with wisdom.
Listen to my voice, I am the spirit of stone and soil. I was here before men and women worked this land,  when all was wild and free, and the great forests grew with deep roots nourished by my spirit.
I am the oldest, the first born. I remember the first raindrop and the first acorn. I knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless.
Listen to my voice, I was here when the first tribes came, and sowed the corn, and farmed the land, and my soil nourished them.
And remember those tribes, for this is the time of year when they rejoiced in the ripening of the first fruits, and of the cutting of the first sheaves of corn. And I say to you, rejoice also!
Rejoice, I say, but remember the darker places, leaner times.
Remember times of hunger and famine, of drought, when the earth was barren and dry, and there was only dust to eat, and the tribe was sore afflicted.
Remember those in other lands, whose bellies are hungry and whose crops have failed, and answer their cry. For your ancestors upon this land also knew these times of hardship and hunger, and others heard their cry.
Take what I give, for I am generous. Take and taste the sweetness of the first fruits, cut the first blade of corn.
But also give to others with generosity of your bounty. Give to the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and those far away across the seas, in distant lands, and great will be your joy.
Rejoice in the abundant rain on the ploughed fields,  soaking them with water, softening the soil with showers and causing the young plants to grow.
But where there is no rain, and my soil grows dry, and the crops are parched and thirsty, ask the gods of air and water to send the good rain, to feed me, that the dry springs may run again, and hope spring eternal once more.

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