Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Light the Fires of Beltane

Light the Fires of Beltane

                In ancient times and to this day, Druids would celebrate the beginning of summer with the lighting of two bonfires.  The cattle, one the most valued animals, in the culture would be a paraded between the fires for health and fertility.  It is the season of new growth and creation.     In Ireland it was celebrated when the hawthorn trees were in bloom.   On the Julian calendar that was on about May 1; the changes wrought by the Gregorian  calendar in 1752.  The Gregorian calendar also changed the birthday of George Washington and other Founding Fathers, in case you were interested. 
                And so I start on a new project.  It is, like the summer, a rebirth.  I have begun the expansion of an old short story, a piece of which was feature in my post Show Me a Story.  You’ll be hearing more about that in the weeks to come.  I have also embarked on the final pre-publishing phase for my novel Dark Dealings.  I have found a group of wonderfully supportive, creative and motivated writers in my PubWrite friends. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter (#pubwrite)
                The ancient festivals of Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain are oriented to agricultural and livestock.  Beltane is the beginning of the season when the work since Imbolc begins to bear fruit.  And so it is for me. But as any farmer will tell you, the work to assure a good harvest is just beginning.  A great harvest also requires a degree of luck.  So I will look to the flowering hawthorn and cut a branch for luck and buckle down to the hard work.  The hawthorn is the tree of hope.  And so I hope for the harvest.
                Like a dedicated farmer of the word I will work and share my joys and on occasion whine about the aches and pains.  Unfortunately I don’t have a hawthorn in my yard, although I had one in my Irish Gran’s yard growing up.  But I have a beautiful weeping cherry and a crabapple tree and they are in bloom.   Every once in a while a breeze will bring a flurry of petals down on the robins that dance around my lawn.  Now if I could just do something about the stink bugs.  Any suggestions?