Today is Lammas, the summer holiday you didn’t know you need. Lammas is the midway point between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox, and the first of three harvest Sabbaths.
Summer is when we show up daily to do the work. It is the long hard road from planting to reaping the harvest.
But even in summer, moments of rest are required.
As we shift in the cycle of the seasons from Summer to Late Summer, Lammas is a harvest festival that celebrates the first harvest, when the grain and corn are gathered.
We might not be at the full harvest point yet, but it’s important to pause and harvest what’s ripe and ready.
I have been missing my old ritual of perusing the Union Square Greenmarket on a summer Saturday. The succulent Tristar strawberries from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm drew me early, and I always bought at least two pints because I would finish eating one before I even left the greenmarket.
Like those sweet summer strawberries, our Lammas harvest can fuel us as we continue the summer season work of growing and maintaining.
Wayne Muller writes in his book Sabbath:
What we harvest in this season provides the seed for the next season. In Sabbath time we taste the fruit of our labor, and prepare the seeds for the week to come. If we are too busy, if we do not rest, we miss this rhythm.
What Are You Harvesting?
In our materialistic culture it’s easy to forget that “harvest” doesn’t only refer to financial remuneration.
Even if your seeds are slow to sprout, you still have plenty to harvest, if you know where to look.
One traditional harvest of Lammas is to celebrate our skills and abilities. It’s a good time to pause and take inventory:
- What are your strong points?
- What skills and abilities do you have that you can offer others?
If, like me, you find yourself afflicted with the “curse of knowledge” — devaluing certain skills that you believe are common — resist the urge to omit them from the list. Remember that everything counts.
Pausing to take inventory of our skills can open doors for new opportunities that we hadn’t previously considered.
A Lammas Harvest Ritual
Create space for yourself to reflect back over the past several weeks, considering your projects, relationships, and other activities.
Here are some inquiries to help you reap your harvest:
- What have you learned? About your project, yourself, others involved?
- What wisdom have you gained?
- What new relationships have you formed?
- What relationships have you strengthened?
- What new skills have you acquired?
- What new beliefs have you created?
- How is your health?
- What systems have you created that help you do your work with greater ease?
- What support networks have you built around you?
- What mindsets and attitudes have you been cultivating?
May the fruits of your harvest be sweet, and fuel you to a nourishing and sustainable harvest when Autumn arrives.