As a kid, this time of the year held nothing special for me. It was still summer, and school was weeks away. Most of my summer had become that blur of hanging out with friends, work/play, sleeping, eating, watching TV, etc.
When I started my teaching career later on, August first was usually the beginning of the end. School preparations crept back into the corners of my mind, and trips to clean out my classroom began.
At this time of my life, August was usually accompanied by that feeling of dread. The leisure of summer was dwindling - fast.
Two events have since changed my outlook on August. First, when I became a pagan, August first was the holiday of Lammas – the first of the harvest holidays. Roadside stands selling all kinds of produce cropped up everywhere I went, and I suddenly understood this was no coincidence. Mother Earth was yielding up the very first fruits of her labor. Fall was already permeating my environment, even though August was considered one of the hottest months of the summer.
Secondly, my third child was due on August 4, 2004. Since it was my third, I had full hopes of delivering a baby early. So, on August first, my pagan friends from Minnesota and I gathered in the circle at the farm to celebrate, and for the first time in my life, I ate a whole jalapeno pepper. I felt it was a small sacrifice to make if it might induce labor.
Elliot was born two weeks after my foolish pepper digestion. It obviously didn’t work.
Despite this, August has grown on me. It is the beginning of the season of change, after a summer of heat, sun, and dry soil. It will also always remind me of my little baby boy.
Happy Lammas and happy harvesting!