This weekend is harvest moon: the full moon closest to the autumn equinox.
The time of reaping and celebration of the year’s harvest. Where communities would traditionally come together. Sharing the work, sharing the rewards. Feasting together. Companions, literally people breaking bread together. The bread which they had tilled the soil for, scattered the seed, joined together to cut the wheat in fine weather, to thresh and make bales.
This is the time for bringing the harvest home – physically, spiritually , stocking our larders to see us through the cold, dark months ahead. Though most of us are cut off from the literal harvesting of our food, unless we have a vegetable garden of our own. Our food is disconnected from the farmers. Food is always there, on the shelves. We forget the joy of the harvest. The physical exertion traded for stored calories. The reliance on every member of the community to make it happen. Food is just food, a commodity, easy come, easy go. We don’t need each other any more to survive. We don’t need to celebrate nature’s bounty: it is always there. And so whilst we are rich on easy calories and in money in comparison to those rural farming communities of bygone days, we are poor too if we do not gather together, to feast, to celebrate and give thanks.
It is fitting that this weekend is a weekend of community celebrations here – a tapas evening at a new local cafe, eating with friends; our multi-generational community will share a life affirming luncheon at Saturday Pizzas; drinking together to celebrate a friend’s birthday and then a motherblessing, a group of women gathering to celebrate and nurture a pregnant friend about to give birth, with love, massage, mindful connection… and of course food!
My children and I gathered wheat and barley which had sprouted on the roadside. We pounded it into flour and used it to make a harvest loaf together, watching the miracle of yeast and grain and water become our daily bread. We feasted on our harvest loaf and gave thanks for the turning of the seasons.
Do take the time over the next couple of weeks to celebrate with your companions. Take time to break bread, to raise a toast to each other and the farmers who provided your food, to the sun and the earth. To bring harvest home to you and yours.
This post is being contributed to the Big Lunch which celebrates communities eating together every June in the UK. Do take some time to check out their great blog.
To find out about Dreaming Aloud’s Big Lunch experience do check out this post . And this one about why I decided to get involved with The Big Lunch.
Do take time to read my posts on Radical Homemaking.
For more on the spiritual and astrological aspects of this harvest moon time see Hey Allie