I have said before in this blog that I am not a Summer person; heat and humidity makes it my least favorite season. But I will admit to a special affinity for High Summer at the point of Lughnasadh when the corn has tasseled and stands waiting to be harvested. There is something that speaks to the spark of life at this time of year. There is an accomplishment that is both glorious and bittersweet that reaches back through the ages and loves us into life.
First Harvest, the traditional gathering time for grains, has a golden aura about it that embodies the Sun. It also gives witness to the beauty of selfless sacrifice for the continuation of Life through dying. It makes death purposeful and reminds us of endings. Without endings, there would be no reason for beginnings. The end of things gives opportunity to rebirth and regeneration. Without the end, we would never have the chance to become new. Becoming new is messy-disrupted fields where once proud heads of grain bobbed gently in the rain and wind, trees shedding their leaves everywhere...to be carried away by a sudden warm wind; the scattering of seeds for tomorrows crops.
It is a time of romantic stories written in the past to tell the truths of life and death. One of my favorites is the story/song of John Barleycorn. The original concept of the character has been around in one form or another for centuries, but my favorite is Steve Winwood's arrangement of the British traditional classic which he created in the 1970s. Winwood recorded John Barleycorn Must Die while a member of the English folk/rock group Traffic, and re-recorded it as an acoustic solo the video which I am including here because it is told so beautifully:
A blessed First Harvest to you, may you grow from this place and reach the place you desire.