Hardly a Harvest
Today is Lughnasadh, the time of the year when I feel most disjointed with the wheel…and now that I think about it, probably the festival that led me away from my earlier dabbling in Wicca and back to my own sort of dirt witch practice. I love a good harvest festival, but here where I live? There’s not a thing harvest-y about August. August, whether in the high deserts of West Texas, the steamy oppressive heat of Southern Louisiana, or the mishmash of everything hot/dry/humid that we get now in San Antonio, August is about hanging in there and surviving. It’s about the struggle to keep things alive or to mourn what is dying on the vine in spite of every effort I’ve made.
It’s about the sparseness with which my ancestors managed, what they did with almost nothing. I mean, I still celebrate the day—my Irish traveller blood demands it, but my celebration is less about bounty and more about survival. August is the hardest month for me. It’s hot, it’s pretty miserable, and it’s when I start yearning in earnest for everything and everyone I miss.
It’s the month that teaches me again and again that I am strong enough to make it to the next best thing, that I can move forward, even if the steps are painful and heavy. It’s the primer for the shadow work I tend to do from September through to November.
I rarely celebrate Lughnasadh so much for the bounty of the season, but more as a recognition of the resilience it takes to make a harvest of any sort—literal or metaphorical. I will raise a glass and light a candle to all of us still scratching the dirt to find our way. May we all have some ease and rest at the end of summer’s dog days, wherever we find ourselves.