The Feast of the Assumption

It is the Feast of the Assumption. In the Church calendar, this is the day Mother Mary was taken bodily up to heaven without the inconvenience of dying first. But in the older calendar of Europe, this was the time when it was recognized that the heat of summer was breaking. The Dog Days end… Continue reading The Feast of the Assumption

Lammas Muffins & Myths

It's the probably not-terribly-ancient festival of bread, Lammas, Hlaf-mas, Loaf Mass. This holiday is possibly an English variant on the Irish first fruits and fair festival of Lughnasadh, but compacted into one day and generally lacking any ritual or narrative. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, churches in East Anglia constructed elaborate displays… Continue reading Lammas Muffins & Myths

Lughnasadh

It is nearly Lughnasadh. This is my favorite time of year. Some may love midwinter twinkle; others may love the summer sun. But I live for the autumn blaze. The cooling weather, the increasing darkness, the slowing pace and renewed time for reading and introspection. The color and pageantry of fall. The scents of leaf… Continue reading Lughnasadh

On the Existence of Independence

It is early July. In my country, we set fire to gunpowder and other explosives wrapped in paper — which are produced almost entirely in extremely hazardous conditions outside of this country — to mimic the actual gunpowder explosions that presumably were the background for the signing of a document that declared this small group… Continue reading On the Existence of Independence

Paul Bunyan Day

Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor, Maine. (Wikipedia) It’s that special day in June again. No, not that solstice thing. No, forget graduation. No, not the wedding thing. It’s Paul Bunyan Day! A day to celebrate an absolute idiot who blundered through the north woods, wearing plaid flannel, leading a cow named Babe, and wielding an… Continue reading Paul Bunyan Day

Jungle to Veg Garden!

The sun reaches its northernmost point on the horizon today. Tomorrow evening it turns around and starts heading south again. In the US, we call this the beginning of summer, but traditionally this is the middle, Midsummer.  The official date of the Midsummer holiday is the 24th, much like the winter solstice holidays are tied… Continue reading Jungle to Veg Garden!