Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Gathering Day

The nettles are seeding, the tranquil summer air is heavy with the scent of honeysuckle and roses, there are bees languidly humming from petals to hive, their little baskets heavy with pollen, it's hard to garner the will to do anything but hum along.

 I've flung the windows wide and am trying to work but I can't concentrate, the hum is calling through the window.

All the garden's wonders are singing the hum, calling to come and sniff, come taste with eyes, nose and tongue, listen to my song, feel me.

Out here in the green summer is at her zenith, the wild songs of spring are settled into a more mature melody of utter abundance, a restful yet entrancing hymn that is full to the very brim of good things.

I find myself going on every slower walks, zig zagging like a drunken honey bee between the flowers.

I want to drink it all in, fill myself up with the nectars of summer, create an internal honey that will sustain me all winter long.

From this day forward we will begin the downward journey to winter. This is the tipping point between summer and winter, between the inbreath and the outbreath of seasons, between the tick and the tock of the planetary clock.

So it is time to gather; to pick what we need for that time when life is not bursting forth just outside the door, for the time when summer sleeps, resting under the winter ground. In Wales in particular, but all over the British Isles, it is said that this is Gathering Day - the absolutely best day upon which to gather herbs and flowers for medicines for the rest of the year. plants harvested under the midsummer sun are reputed to be twice as potent as those collected earlier or later in the summer.

I'll see you out there with my baskets, after we've both washed our faces in the morning dew and after lighting the fire that celebrates the life giving magic of our sun. We'll walk within this potent pause where the sun seems to rise and set in the same place for three days, the sol (sun) stice (stands still) of midsummer and we'll be part of a world where everyone remembers that without the sun and without the tumbling earth spinning through her seasons and cycles we are nothing, have nothing. Are Not.

Perhaps, finally, we will stand shoulder to shoulder WITH all the denizens of our planet, within rather than on the generous and fecund cycles of the creation. Perhaps we'll remember our indivisibility from her, from all that she is, all of thriving life.

Are you coming?

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