Late Lughnasadh greetings, dear readers. (As if it’s possible to be late among the Pagani.) It’s been an intense couple of weeks – not even two weeks – since touching down in New York. In addition to jewelry, tapestries, goddess statues, and coffee, I brought home a sea urchin spine from Turkey. Embedded in my right foot. I didn’t know it until I fell ill the Friday after my return and discovered that my foot was red, hot, and swollen, the infection trailing its way up my ankle. A doctor excised the spine and prescribed antibiotics. I hobbled around for a week, keeping my foot elevated as much as possible, soaking it every few hours in hot water and Epsom salts. Now I’m much better, nearly mended.
I’ve also witnessed much heartache in the past couple of weeks, from a friend who spent several days in cardiac intensive care, to several friends whose marriages are in crisis, to a guarded, hurting lover at home. I wonder if everyone’s heart is hurting. I wonder, too, at the ways I’ve guarded my own heart, and how much that guarding hurts and isolates me. It’s a normal response to contract in fear, yet that response so rarely serves us. I’m learning how guarding my heart blocks my generosity, both toward myself and toward others. I came home from Turkey with a heart more open and full, and the energy in my body has been tremendous. I can be more generous with myself and others, but it’s not about making anything happen; it’s about allowing the life force to flow and take its course. It’s an Oprahesque cliché to say that we can’t give to others without filling ourselves first. But I think I’m beginning to understand what it means to attend to my own needs and how, when I do so, I don’t have to make anything else happen. The rest just flows.
Lughnasadh is one of my favorite holidays, second perhaps only to Samhain. My sweet puppy was born around the sabbat (we adopted him in November two years ago), and so we named him for the solar god, Lugh. (He likes to hear me sing, and a favorite is "You Are My Sunshine," the appropriateness of which just struck me.) The abundance this time of year is staggering: the lush green, the still-long days, the gorgeous colors of the farmers' market. Indeed, going to market is one of my favorite ways to celebrate, along with eating as many tomatoes, peaches, and blueberries as I possibly can. I feel the blessings of the earth and the hint of fall in the air.
Perhaps the best things I've ever read about Lughnasadh can be found here.
Abundant blessings at the turning of the year.