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Lunasa to Harvest: celebration

by Judy Harrow

Each year at Lunasa, in the old ways, the tribe would ask and receive Mother Earth's consent to reap the fruits of the land. Then the people worked long, hard hours in the hot sun. The rewards of their labor were all around them to be seen, touched, smelled and tasted. Another year's food was now assured. The people's joy and gratitude is recorded for us in hundreds of folk songs and other festive harvest traditions - joy in what the tribe and the Earth had, once again, created together. This is the happy season of fruition.

Very few of us are farmers anymore. For town folk, this arc of the seasonal round actually developed in direct counterpoint to the agricultural rhythm. Schools were closed in summer because all possible hands, even the little ones, were needed in the fields. Then, urban skilled workers began to win those precious annual vacations. August, when their kids were out of school, was the time they took off, so the family could have some fun together, maybe even get to the mountains or the beach. For many of us, August is still getaway time.

So, get away. Even if you can't actually travel, take some sort of break from your usual routine. Make sure you include both rest and fun -- we all have heard jokes about people returning from an over strenuous vacation in immediate need of a week off to recover. Although the last thing any of us needs is a goal- driven vacation, there are some ways our modern vacation time can be connected to the ancient, land-based seasonal rhythm in which late Summer is the time of harvest.

Think: the Earth right now is at the peak of Her lushness, Her abundant, everflowing, nurturant Mother phase. Rest now in Her broad lap. Let Her nurture you.