Lammas, the feast of the First Harvest, is a bittersweet holiday. We give thanks for the bounty of our gardens and our lives, and we revel in the long days and the warm, sunny weather. At the same time we know we’re sliding into the waning of the year and are facing the coming of Fall. Even though most of North America has suffered through intense heat waves this summer, we Northwesterners can count the number of sunny days pretty much on one or two hands. It’s the second week of August and we’re wearing sweaters and looking thoughtfully at the thermostat.
And yet. We gather at the River, my spiritual community and I, every year at this time. I’ve written about it here, here, here and here. We gaze at the stars and the early morning mist, we dance and drum around the fire ’til the wee hours, we feast together, chat and laugh, and swim in the river. We turn the Great Wheel, honoring the spirits of the land, and make our peace with the coming of Autumn.
(Fire photos by Chele Eva Armstrong of Henna Moon. All others by Joanna.)