As the summer reaches its peak, everything is growing, blossoming and ripening, as are our intentions. By the beginning of August, the first crops are almost harvested and it is a perfect time for us to stop, cool down, reconnect and celebrate.
Living with the cycles of nature is such a wonderful thing. Just by observing the changes in nature one naturally knows what needs to be done. I spend the longer and warmer days walking through fields of wildflowers, collecting some of them to use in the winter to make rejuvenating teas or I take them into my oasis in the forest and breathe in their calming and refreshing scent. I especially enjoy sitting amongst long grass in the middle of a millet field, this instantly calms my mind and allows me to be grateful for the coming harvest.
The refreshing gifts of nature and the bountiful first harvest
At this time, all around me, the first berries are ready to be picked. They are full of antioxidants and are great to refresh and detox your body. After I have picked them, I usually do not consume all of them but take some home to make a refreshing summer drink. This drink cools, recharges and fills my body with all the vitamins and positive energy it needs.
Cherishing natures gifts and the first harvest
According to the cycle of nature, Lungh represents the last festival before the festival of Samhain, when the new yearly cycle starts and we prepare to move inwards and retreat for the winter. Therefore, this is a perfect time to celebrate and spend with people we love most, enjoy the warmth and bounty of the sun, and grow in awareness that the relaxing sunny days are slowly coming to an end and the sun is about to die. Like most other celebrations, I usually reunite with my mother, then we pick the first part of our harvest (potatoes, beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic) and use for cooking as well as storing for the winter months.
By learning to let go we are open to receiving more
In order to express gratitude for the gifts we receive during the harvest, we hold a friendly gratitude ritual next to a cooling and peaceful lake. We take small parts of our first harvest and a baked tarragon cake, offer the gifts back to nature and the divine and wish for a good harvest the following year. Leaving some of the harvests in nature allows us to let go of all we do not need any longer, as well as any bad habits that no longer serve us. We also share some of it with those in need and plant a seed to symbolise our connection with nature and its gifts.
Caressed by the moonlight
After the first part of our harvest has been gathered and the ceremonies are over, I take time to travel into the depths of my soul, visit the ocean and take long, peaceful walk in the moonlight. This washes away the past, makes space for new beginnings and fills me with love and compassion. I surrender to the sound of the crashing waves, calming and nurturing my entire body, whilst the gentle moonlight dampens down my fire, creating a balance within.
The magical yellow flower!
At last but not least – I return home to discover the blossoms of a very special flower – St. John's Wort! I pick some and dry it, ready to make a relaxing and reconnecting tea in times of doubt. Then I burn the other parts of the plant to protect and bring balance, love and longevity to our home and our minds. This is one of the most perfect summer celebrations!