08.19.15 I am always taken by surprise this time of year at how quickly it is becoming dark. We’ve been lighting the lanterns on the porch as we sit there to enjoy the last of the sunset light and watch the bats come out of the shadows. It is such a bittersweet season. Summer is still here and is being harvested at the farmer’s markets–the corn and cucumbers, green beans, squashes and tomatoes. Company is on the way for more lakeside fun. Yet, there can be no denying that the sun has passed its yearly zenith and is now in decline.
Ever since I came to learn about Lammas celebrations, I keep thinking about the resonance in this cross-quarter season– why so many of us experience its sweet melancholy. I’ve been re-reading Joseph Campbell’s book, Myths to Live By, and it’s easy to believe that it is in our DNA, as humans, to have this visceral response to the days getting darker. It was necessary to have a holy appreciation of Nature and its ultimate control over our destiny, in order to survive. No wonder there was great celebration this time of year in harvesting the grain, baking bread, saving the seeds for Spring–faith, hope and trust that there would be a new season for growth, as the sun goes away and leaves us in the dark and cold.
The season’s colors are gold and yellow and they glowed on my dining room table. And, oh how magical that golden fingernail moon is at sunset.