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Come You In, Lughnasadh
Today is the beginning of the autumn quarter
in the Celtic year –
the time of the late harvests, of in-gathering.
It is tradition to bid welcome to the new season
at the front door of the house at dawn
(or as close to dawn as you wish).
You are free to use my words…
or to offer your own welcome in whatever words
or ritual seems right to you.
Or you can just hold the rest of us in your thoughts
as we cross this threshold.
Be welcome, be welcome, Abundant Giver.
You scatter blessing with generous hands:
nourishment of grain,
refreshment of grape,
fulfillment of acorn,
clarity of wisdom,
healing of compassion,
compassion of rest,
vision of leadership,
bounty of harvest,
steadfastness of truth.
Be welcome at the hearthfire of my heart.
[This blessing is available in my blessing booklet (which can also be used as a card). The booklets are available at my Etsy shop at a special two-for price – one for you and one for a friend.]
My husband tore his meniscus
rather spectacularly recently.
So he underwent ‘minor’ surgery last week
to remove the torn bits.
And it got me thinking about breaking things
and being broken –
after all, Lughnasadh is a harvest season
when grapes get broken into wine,
and grain gets broken into flour,
and tomatoes get broken into sauce.
I pondered how some things are better when broken
(see: last sentence)
and some things really aren’t.
And it reminded me that there is nothing unpredictable
about being broken.
It is a given for anything animate or inanimate
that exists in time.
So as Lughnasadh begins,
I find myself wondering
what about me is richer or better when it is broken,
and what isn’t.
And for what values, people, ideals, morals
am I willing to be broken,
even if it hurts profoundly,
even if it is ‘broken unto death’?
Breaking Bread Together
Several of you have asked me to remind you
about the focus of Lughnasadh
(which is pronounced Loo’-na-sah, by the way…)
Strangely, it is the perfect season to
enfold us as we move through the last 100 days
before the election…
…because (as I wrote a couple of years ago),
This is the season in which we honor those
who have moved beyond personal ego
into an inward peace and center,
into a concern for the greater good of the community
with ‘community’ broadly defined to include all creation.
We celebrate all those (past and present)
who stand with the voiceless and the oppressed,
whose compassion embraces stranger and enemy,
who dare to speak truth to power,
and whose steady vision encourages us to give our best.
[You may actually want to read the whole post HERE.] Certain elements in this country are tilting dangerously
away from self-sacrifice, compassion, truth, peace,
respect, generosity, and the good of the whole.
It is imperative that we each commit to as much maturity
as we can muster.
Close Encounters – of the Unexpected Kind
Yesterday morning was a first for me.
I was out walking in the cool morning air
when I chanced to pass a neighbor
taking his dog for its constitutional
before heading off to work
(the person, not the dog…)
With no warning of any kind,
the dog whirled around
and (not to put too fine a point on it) bit my ass.
He took a sizable chunk out of my pants in the process
and left two large punctures behind.
As I said to the Urgent Care nurse,
“I profoundly hope the day is about to improve from here.”
As I washed the wound with warm soapy water
for five minutes (per instructions),
I had a lot of time to think
about the unexpected events that come into my days
and how startled I continue to be –
even though, in truth, it is the rare day indeed
that doesn’t have at least one unexpected event.
So, why do I keep thinking of them as unexpected?
Why don’t I think of a day in which nothing unexpected happens
We are in the season of the late harvests
and those of us who still do such things
are canning and freezing and putting up the excess
for use over the fallow months ahead…
…which activity stands in stark contrast to
the rest of us who discard over half (over half)
the produce we purchase, as well as
half the seafood,
one-third of the cereals and breads,
and one-quarter of the meat.
Almost 30% of our arable land
and 25% of our fresh water
is used in the production of food that is thrown out
or never makes it to market.
I think I am going to just leave us all
with those statistics to ponder
in a world where almost 45% of children
According to Consumer Reports,
there is an astonishingly large number of people who
are killed or maimed each year because
they refuse to wear seatbelts…
preferring their illusions to the facts.
Which reminded me of (another) Will Rogers quote
that someone shared with me years ago
(after I had just done something remarkably stupid
that by sheer luck didn’t get me killed).
“There are three kinds of [folks].
The one that learns by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them
have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
Living an abundant, renewing life
requires sacrificing one or more of our favorite traits
on a fairly regular basis.
I’m talking about
the ones that define us in our own minds or hearts,
often the ones for which we get affirmation,
the ones other people admire,
the ones without which we feel like we are dying.
We know this.
So, dear friends, three questions:
1. What is the trait you are most afraid of relinquishing?
2. Who will give you the support you need to relinquish it?
3. Are you ready to sacrifice who you are
for who you are becoming?
Text © 2016, Andrea La Sonde Anastos
Photos © 2015, 2016 Immram Chara, LLC