The build-up to the fire festival of Lughnassadh around August 1st always brings up mixed emotions for me.
The heat of the Sun, the joy of spending time by the sea, picnics and camping are tinged with the unspoken knowledge that the wheel of the year is turning towards the darker days.
Already Hazel, Rowan, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Bramble and Apple are displaying their potential seeding of next year’s offspring.
They contrast with Summer’s last fling demonstrated by Chamomile daisies, Poppies and Vipers Bugloss.
The sacrifice of Lugh, the Sun god, alias John Barleycorn is told in the cutting of the corn – the harvesting of food for the people and animals of the land. His sacrifice for the good of the Earth’s inhabitants is particular poignant in this year of 2014, as we remember those soldiers of the great war – cut down in their prime.
Those young men believed that their sacrifice was also for the good of the land they loved. In honour of their memory can we do just a little more to preserve our precious Earth – our home?
On this Lughnassadh perhaps we can pause just for a few moments to give thanks to those who sacrificed their own lives so we could experience in reality what to them would be their last wistful memories of home.