Well I blinked and it seems that summer has almost gone. July was a manic affair, preparations for our holiday to Bavaria, students, blocked drains and Lammas preparations all added to a very fast month.
We spent Lammas on the move this year, a bit strange for us but fun too. I prepared some of our celebration food and we found a few lovely spots on our travels to stop and enjoy our surroundings.
Eventually we arrived in Bavaria. We booked our holiday cottage as the same one from last year. It is a lovely place; in the Altmulthal area, nr Ingolstadt. You couldn't find a better place to spend the season. Elderberries grow wild everywhere. Owls and other birds of prey sit in the trees above your heads whilst Kingfishers flit around the banks of the river, only a few feet away. The forest grows up above us high on the hills with the valley winding its way down the middle of Bavaria. Deer wander, their fabulous antlers rearing up at the sound of you passing. Corn fields and flowers growing but without that forced feel to the crops that we have here. Time is allowed, with nature, to do it's job.
We visited many different places and very much enjoyed the slow pace the locals had. Food and drink here is both fresh and cheap with much been grown locally meaning very few miles added to them. Everyone says hello or more correctly Gross Got (a sort or God be with you phrase). Most are Catholic in the south yet still they celebrate the old ways. You will find Celticware all over. The images in the architecture, the celebration of the harvest much more Pagan than Catholic, the remains off many Celtic buildings and forts are still visible all over the place.
You can walk for miles and not meet anyone or you can head into the town and on a friday or saturday night take part in the beerfest; drindls and lederhosen decorated with pagan and celtic patterns, music and singing filling the streets with welcoming sounds and laughter everywhere.
It is definitely turning out to be our spiritual home despite the difference in our faiths. On our return (which took several cars and a whole other story after ours broke down) we noticed the changes as we went through Europe. By the time we got home you could definitely tell that Autumn is almost here. The fabulous view I have from my bedroom affords me new colours of gold, red, browns as the chestnut and climbing plants in the park change. Our veg in the garden are at their best, now turning into the seeds for next years growth, the circle completing.
And so now I turn to our Samhain celebrations. The plans for our party already under way. I am excited about it. For so long now we have had a lack of room to allow a full scale celebration like I used to hold. In our new home we have both room and friends to help us. Some of our friends are not pagan so for them a twist in the form of some hallowe'en fun but also a lot from our traditional Samhain celebrations. Decorations are on the way to being finished. Food crops canned ad preserved.
We have been lucky this year in that we haven't lost any friends or family, though we have had one birth. My Littleun is already drawing this years Tree; it sits on our altar showing our ancestors as does a copy at the head of our table, the place set for them at our feast.
This year has been a hard one, if it could go wrong it most definitely has done so, by the bucket load, but as it draws to a close I am looking around me, recharged by the season, recharged by the hope the new year brings, thankful that I still have those I love. Now where did I put that glue gun again...