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Images of Lughnasad

Fog has settled once again over the city, always a sign that Lughnasad has come. No birds hunt upon the waters this morning. Instead of wading egrets, one lone sculler makes his way across Lake Merritt: brown arms bunching toward release, his strength propels him. His aim is true.

Tailtiu cleared the dales, making fields for Ireland to plow. White arms mighty, lifting tree trunks and great stones, can you imagine? Her labor done, her strength was spent. Her true heart gave way to the weight of sacrifice.

On this day, the first of August, Lugh called the games to honor Tailtiu. She had brought harvest, times of plenty, to the green land. The hills were crowned with dancing and a time of peace declared. The arches flexed their sinews, aiming true.

What do we harvest? What is lost, and mourned, and honored? What time of peace is brokered in our chests? Today, what will we strive for, muscles straining? Into this grayness, I invoke the light of Lugh. He flashes bright, lights up true hearts with new found courage… just to be our bravest selves.

There is little difference between this shrouded city and the ancient Irish hills in the time when heroes walked. Everything has altered, nothing changed. We can learn to walk like heroes: beings somewhere in between bright Gods and humans. We can remember our strength. We can learn to shine, and labor, and dance.

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