For me, Lammas has for many years been the First Harvest, the first of three harvest holidays or harvest "spokes" on the Wheel of the Year, and the Day of the Reaper.
In the Mid-Atlantic, where I've lived most of my life, it's easy to see Lammas this way -- both as the harvest of the first fruits, and also as the day of the reaper. August is hot and the weather is chancy. Many of the first things that come to ripeness are abundant: corn, peppers, tomatoes, basil, blackberries, blueberries, cucumbers, string beans. (I'm thinking of farm stands by the side of the road in South Jersey.) Now I'm in the Mid-West, and at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, we've also been seeing gooseberries, which are legal here now, cherries, even peaches, and -- amazingly -- some early apples.
But there is so much that is not quite ready yet, a harvest that could easily be lost by too much or too little rain, pests, tornadoes, flood, drought...
I'm remembering Lammases in Roses, Too! Coven, when we would tear bites off Sun-round cornbread, so it would get smaller in the same way the Sun does, while we asked ourselves and each other about this harvest and our hopes for the next harvests. I'm remembering a potluck -- before we learned to make sure we "seeded" potlucks with protein and chocolate -- where all folks brought were fresh fruits and vegetables. (They were luscious, but...)
I'm remembering a Lammas potluck in 1993, thrown by the women who lived in a house called Iniquity (not to be confused with the house called Sin), where what was to become Roses, Too! first came into being.
I ask you:
- What's happening around you in nature?
- What have you harvested so far this year?
- What do you hope to harvest yet this year?
May you have a blessed Lammas. (And if you're from a tradition that does this, enjoy tearing apart your bread man!)