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Home is Where the Harvest is

As you know, I have been travelling. I was in Britain for three weeks, returned home for five days and then set off for New York for almost a week.

All of this at harvest time. Sadness. The grapes were neglected and went to feed the possums and raccoons. There was a huge elderberry harvest but I did very little of it. Because we have two apple trees that bear fruit at different times, the apple harvest has been prolonged.  We filled our little freezer with apples destined for the cider fermenter and there are more in the refrigerator in the vegetable drawers.

Green beans have been plentiful and tomatoes trickle in--perfect, warm globes of brightness. 

And we have celebrated one of the harvest festivals on the Wheel of the Year--rich Lughnasadh, merry Lammas. With two more holy days before us, we are arrayed in harvest, like those decadent old paintings of Flora and Bacchus.

The most ephemeral harvest from my time away was what was gleaned in the silence and the solitude. Isn't that always so? In the midst of a mountain and urban summer, there is so much artificial sound--the music fest down by the river, the extra traffic from the tourists to our little mountain town, the squeals of delight from our neighbors swimming pool.

In the villages and small towns of Scotland and England, there was time and good conditions for thinking, for pondering. I made copious notes and review them, gleaning. 

What are you harvesting from this year so far? And what longings and desires are left unfulfilled, unacknowledged?  When we sit at our broad table for Harvest Home, who will be sitting with us?

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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at info@myvillagewitch.com,

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