Already, it is the August Cross Quarter Day. This is the day halfway between the Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. In the old calendar of Europe, it is Lughnasad and Lammastide—the beginning of the Chase of Lugh, the Celtic sun god—when the first harvests begin far north of the Equator. It is the beginning of the Fall season of old.
For us here at Freedom Ridge Ranch, we see the season beginning to shift. Even as far south as we are—in the horse latitudes—our elevation is high, and summer is fleeting. Here, on the west slopes of the Continental Divide, the hot season is already gone. With the start of the Monsoon in July, we saw the greening begin, with its cool nights, hot mornings and cloudy and rainy afternoons.
Now, as the daylight is noticeably shorter, we see chilly, misty mornings, with dew on the blooming sunflowers, and dripping down from the metal roofs of house and barn and cabin. Already, the Aspens begin to show yellow in the leaves, and the sun appears south of where it rose at the Solstice. The shadows are deeper. The season is changing.
Already, we have put the feather comforter back on the bed.
Here at Ragamuffin Studies, we have just passed the Fast of Tisha b’Av, a day of mourning for the loss of Temple and a going into exile. Last Shabbat, we began the seven weeks of Comfort, when we read Haftarah Nachamu –“Comfort, O, comfort my people, says your G-d.” Autumn is coming, and with it the New Year of Years, Rosh Hashanah, and the Season of Repentance, Renewal, and the Ingathering Harvest. The Wheel of the Year turns once again to its end and beginning, and in the seasons of our lives, we have seen the last child grown and graduated, moving out for a while to study and practice for the time when he will come back to run Freedom Ridge Ranch.
Blessed is the One who makes the years pass and the seasons alternate . . .