Lughnasadh has come and gone, and with it being some three weeks out from the Autumn Equinox, the weather seems to be heating up. On a whole, the Summer has been rather mild, however, as temperatures steadily climb skyward, it is as if we are given a timely reminder that Summer has not finished with us yet.
When it comes to the Wheel of the Year, Mother Earth seems to rebel against being told when her seasonal wheel will turn - it is not a mere six months difference between hemispheres, nor will she produce "appropriate" weather just because we are planning something allegedly in honour of her (with our mined crystals and parafin candles). One of the best ways I have found in honouring Mother Earth is attempting to return some life to my long neglected garden, and in doing so, ensuring that at least some of the plants I add provide food and shelted to the native species, as well as for myself.
When I first bought my place, I had dreams of turning my patch of dirt into something resembling the ancient hanging gardens of Babylon, a cornucopia of smells and tastes, with a vege garden overflowing with more produce that I would know what to do with. In reality, things did not happen quite as you plan, and some six years later, whilst not quite a dust bowl, every Summer the Goddess reminds me who is in charge.
She is far from the “Gentle Goddess of the Green Earth” that I often come across in other people's invocations. To me, she resembles some beast out of a science fiction novel whose eyes shot gamma rays that destroyed everything in sight. Images of the Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet also came to mind – the lion headed Goddess seeking revenge on mankind and who was only calmed when the people managed to get her drunk.
We tend to be too complacent when it comes to Wheel of the Year relying solely on what the books and internet sites tell us instead of going out into nature herself. We declimatise ourselves by being locked away with our central heating and air conditioning. Whether global warming or a natural cycle, our seasons are changing and Mother Earth cannot be expected to always have the seasons arrive on cue.
While my garden might not resemble my dream Garden of Eden this time around, there is always next year. My mother always said that gardening was a very hit and miss affair when you first start out. And with each cycle of the turning wheel I find that I gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of not only my own self, but also of my place in the web of life. I am slowly learning what will survive in my little patch of dirt and what is not suited. For everything is interconnected and I am just one small part of the whole.