celebrating the harvest

It’s been a while since I mentioned the Modern Pagan Prayers project. But today is Lammas – the traditional First Harvest – and this week the third of the books became available to buy on Amazon, so I think it’s a good time to talk about the project again.

I’m really quite proud, as the publication of Turn of the wheel means we – my co-author Lucía Moreno-Velo and I – have managed to complete three books in little more than a year. It’s an appropriate time for us to pause and celebrate the harvest of this writing collaboration.
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Christmas reflections

Different people celebrate Christmas very differently. And of course some people don’t celebrate at all. Personally, I’d tend towards the latter.

I loathe the commercialisation and waste associated with mass festivities. I don’t own a Christmas jumper, or tinsel earrings. I think family gatherings are over-rated. And I don’t see the point in waiting for a specific date to give gifts.
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change of view

The shortest – or, at least, the most picturesque – route into the centre of town from my home leads through a walled garden owned by the church. It’s a wonderful space and many of the photos on this blog – witch hazel, bluebells, cyclamen, crocuses, spring blossom… – have been taken there. I’ve sat there often, sometimes to read, occasionally to write, but more often just to think and watch the birds and squirrels.

As far as I know, the garden is open every day; certainly in the two or three years I’ve lived here I’d never seen it closed. Never until this week, that is.
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forecast

It was Candlemas yesterday and an utterly glorious day. Sadly, a fine Candlemas is supposed to mean there’s still more winter to come. Which probably means it’s as likely to be snow as rain that provides the required liquid for “February fill dyke”.

Today has certainly brought more rain than snow – there was sleet first thing, and then the constant mizzle that isn’t worth getting an umbrella out for, so you end up damp spirited as well as wet.

Still, we do have snowrops – Candlemas Bells – even if we don’t have snow flakes at the moment.

snowdrop

high days and holidays

Good Friday, Easter Monday, Early May Bank Holiday and now the Spring Bank Holiday… we seem to have had a lot of holidays in the UK recently.

Surprisingly, the Early May Bank Holiday actually coincided with May Day this year, and today, too, has its own traditional associations:

The 29th of May is Royal Oak Day:
if you don’t give us a holiday, we’ll all run away !

Sadly, I didn’t pass even a single oak tree on my brief walk to the shop this morning, so have settled for pulling a few dead leaves from the archives.
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