The festival of the first fruits – the beginning of the harvest. Time to give thanks to the Green Goddess and John Barleycorn. Traditionally bilberries and blackberries would be picked. Bread would be baked. A feast of celebration prepared.
Here in wet Wales, as we travel down the lanes and back roads, we are assailed by the scent of cut grass and honeysuckle. We are delayed by the the carts carrying the hay – given the opportunity at 15 mph to appreciate the willowherb, meadowsweet and hogweed in the hedgerows. A tinge of yellow in the sycamore trees hints at Autumn – the turning of the year is palpable.
In the garden the first tiny runner beans emerge amongst a riot of blossom. Marjoram and fennel flower beside the rhubarb. Bees hum and pigeons thrum.
The full moon is unseen behind the banked clouds. Higher tides wash the beaches leaving a treasure trove of shells, driftwood, feathers and mermaid’s purses.
I bake bread, make a somewhat fragile corn dolly from wheat that has sprouted beneath my bird feeders. I walk the land, chanting my thanks. I build an altar – wheat, candles, sandalwood incense, seashells. I make my offerings to the earth – bread and mead. I light my candles, say my words, sing the songs in my heart. I glory in the life I have been given. Blessed be.