"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Sunday, 3 February 2008

harvesting comfrey...& my Lughnasadh

February 2nd brought the festival of Lammas for me here in Woodford... marking the middle of summer and the coming of autumn..and is apparently, the first of the harvest festivals and associated with the ripening of the grain.. I don't have grain to ripen but at the moment my comfrey is out of control... Comfrey is one of my favourite herbs. I have it planted everywhere.. along the chook pen.. under my fruit trees and it is coming up all over the garden BUT i am not particularly worried about it, as I can use it to make a comfrey tea for my garden. It is thriving! I remember years ago when I first discovered the herb and it's common name of knitbone and i informed my dad that I could make a poultice for him if he ever broke a bone in his body... to which he promptly replied ' no thanks love.. I will go to a Doctor if need be' ... I think he thought I was some kind of witch.. I am sure he thought I had a cauldron out the back. I had visions of me being a herbal healer... obviously a throwback to a past life.
so instead of grain, I can harvest my comfrey.. The chooks love the leaves to peck at and it helps to make their eggshells hard. Planted under trees and shrubs, the deep roots bring nutrients up from deep down and help feed the tree.

Lammas really came and went for me this year..... I didn't do much for it at all... I picked a few stems of comfrey and placed them in an old bottle near my kitchen sink... something very soothing about it.. better than long stemmed hot house roses any old day!
Lammas, Lugnasadh.. I am never sure and really .. does it matter? My ancestors had a need to celebrate this season and a reason.... they didn't celebrate it because they had to... they had a belief and a connection to Earth in a different way to how I am today in 2008.... and I am sure if it rained or snowed.. they didn't get their nickers in a knot if they missed it...I can't hear them saying ' oh lord, Lugnasadh tomorrow... what are we going to harvest? have you made the corn dollie yet?'...... I am sure they just went about their day regardless... and their needs and ways were different to my needs & ways - and I must find my own way of marking the seasons & sabbats... so I wandered around my garden looking for ripening fruit and vegetables... thinking all the time of what this day and season means for me down here.... a whole colander full of tomatoes was gathered and then I went into my potato patch and scrabbled for some potatoes, moving the mulch away and feeling for potatoes that were big enough to eat... we call it bandicooting... I put them into an old tin bucket and carried them inside, feeling very proud of my little harvest.... some candles were lit... for really no reason at all, except to bring magick into my life.... and i felt content.... my lammas... no corn dollie, no sacrifice.... just an all is well with my world. Dining outside under the stars.. candles twinkling.... fresh organic food. what more could anyone want or need?


amelia said...

It sound good and earthy to me!

I love incense indoors, candles sometimes for special things but incense all the time.

peppylady said...

We here in the North is celebrating Inbolc and I didn't do anything for it but a least it didn't slip my mind.
There white (snow) covering the ground here.

Bimbimbie said...

Lamas greetings to you Robyn. My tomatoes are the only things I've been harvesting, although I have been cutting flowers to bring indoors so I'll include those. I have two biggish tubs of Comfry and have never seen a flower on either yet ..... unless something has been doing their own bit of harvesting under the cover of darkness. Ha*!* bandicooting .... love that *!*

Tinker said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate your season, Robyn. Reading this makes me anxious for spring - but then summer heat will follow that all too soon - so I guess I need to just follow your lead and appreciate the season and place that I'm in.

zUzU said...

=^..^= ::sigh::

"...content...just an all is well with my world. Dining outside under the stars.. candles twinkling.... fresh organic food. what more could anyone want or need?"

Well, that just about says it all,
now doesn't it?

Simple. Perfect. Needing nothing more than that very moment and hoping for tomorrow to enjoy it all again. Bliss.

=^..^= love, zU

Krissie said...

want some tomatoes??? I have a few buckets of organic ones going....we keep getting more and will stop growing wont they?

kathyann said...

I too agree with everything Zuzu said! what more could I add!
Happy Lamas Robyn!
love from Kathyann and the girls

judie said...

I love your comfrey in a bottle. I have never seen them before; they look delicate and pure and a delicious part of Mother Nature. Thanks for sharing. Re the dragonfly...I thought of that too after it was finished. Perhaps next time...a fairy riding a dragonfly? Wouldn't be a doodle, then. I'd have to work hard at it. LOL Take care Mz. Robyn. xoxoxo

mrsnesbitt said...

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! The thought of eating outside right now is seeing me shiver! Although the snow has gone the cold hasn't. Great to hear you are staying on for a while next year! We will have some fun!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a good day :-)

Pear tree cottage! said...

Robyn, I have left you a long comment on your other post please know it is from my heart.

"Harvesting comfrey" that is a lovely harvest I harvested comfry it also growns to it hearts content everywere and that is a very good thing.

Your bottle is one of many I have in my pantry (smiles) they are lovely jars with bakelite lids for storing anything in.


Sheila said...

Lovely post Robin, you are so right. In times past, they just DID things, didn't stress over them, or worry what people thought.
I love the thought of your chooks eating the comfrey and it making their shells hard, and how nice it sounds to go and gather produce from the garden that you have grown yourself.
I'm positive it tastes better and is better for you..!

sorrow11 said...

Love the VanGogh!I am sure that it is a place in our heart that hold the really meaning of being connected to the sacred, don't ya think? I really liked this post and the comfry by the sink is so endearing, ritual and remembrance, you are one special lady!

Ruth said...

Sounds very peaceful - and don't those comfrey flowers look magical!

Gemma said...

It is lovely to celebrate the passing of the seasons in whatever way we can. Most celebrations are a joy, but I do understand... modern times have added stress to celebrations that would otherwise be sacred.

A bird in the hand said...

I left you an award on my blog. xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Hello Sweetpea!

I adore that 'fat tummy'... and the name is simply devine... seeing as it matches one of my own chickens (Harrison).

Thinking of you often and sending huge amounts of love as always.


Kathryn Knoll said...

Mother Earth loves everything we do to honor her and the life force that comes from her. I love the description of your everyday activities. Many of us on this planet live in such disconnected ways from her energy, so those who ponder and do ritual, (even the bandicooting ritual) and celebrate and keep vigil the holy feasts of the Earth do far more than just connect for themselves but do so for all of us. You are a hero/hera to keep the connection alive. Imagine giving birth alone, how hard that would be, but to have her daughters giving her aide, encouragement and celebrating the life she brings forth and enjoying her fruits! You do it for me too, dear sister, Thank you, SR. K