|From this Wiccan website|
Keith provided two large tents for shade, which were perfect for the hot sunny day we had. The other thing that Lammas marks is the halfway point between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. That means the days are getting shorter and soon we'll have some respite from all this unaccustomed heat. Seattle has already had 12 days this summer at 90 or above, breaking the previous record of 9 days for the entire summer. Everything in my garden is pretty much done, except for the tomatoes, which are just beginning to turn! I've never been successful at growing tomatoes, other than small cherry tomatoes, but this year... I will have so many ripen all at once I'll have to figure out what to do with them all.
Lammas is also a time of reflection, when one realizes that everything changes and moves on. The days are perceptibly shorter, and I for one will be glad to see the endless sunshine and heat begin to moderate with fluffy clouds and some rain. I've definitely become a Pacific Northwesterner and feel irritable and uncomfortable with this hot, dry heat I associate with the desert. I keep looking at the forecast and every time there is a possibility of some precipitation, it dissipates as we get closer in time. But then again, heat is relative. We are not quite reaching 90 degrees here in Bellingham, and I read that in Iran this week the heat index reached an incredible 165! That is a temperature of 115 with a dew point of 90 -- off the charts. At least it cools off at night here to a tolerable level, which is not happening over there.
Okay, enough about the weather. It's on my mind a lot because I'm such a wimp about the heat. There are other things going on. Last week I went to Seattle to see the Broadway play Wicked with my friend Judy, and now I've started to read the book on which the play is based. So far I am enjoying it even more than the play, and I did enjoy that very much. It's based on a different view of the world of Oz and tells much more about how the Wicked Witch of the West got so, well, wicked. The book supposedly gives the reader some perspective on the nature of good and evil. I've only just begun.
I like to think of myself as being a good person, and I try to live my life that way. But I know that when I read about someone who is really evil, I can easily get into that headspace and understand why someone might be twisted by circumstances and is really no different from me at all. But I do believe that when confronted with a situation that gives me a choice to make, I'll choose the path of the least harm to me and those around me. Is that my nature or am I conditioned by my past experiences? I get angry sometimes, but I realize that I don't naturally take it out on others. Some people seem to need to externalize their anger onto those around them. I try to stay away from that sort of person, but sometimes we cross paths.
Is the world becoming more angry in general? I know that as an American, I am dismayed by the bellicose stance we seem to have taken in much of the world these days. It wasn't always that way; I remember when we were coming out of World War II it seemed like Americans were the good guys in everybody's eyes. But that was more than half a century ago, and things change. We move on from who we once were into who we are now. Once upon a time I was a young woman with my whole life ahead of me; now I look at the world knowing that there are not many more years when I will be around. My mother used to say that she was glad she was old because she wouldn't have to experience the worst effects of our present trajectory. I'm beginning to understand what she meant.
Sometimes I am dismayed by the news of the day: climate change, water shortages and drought, floods and tornados wreaking havoc, and worst of all, shootings and bombings of innocents by extremist elements. But then I realize that our media considers all that stuff to be the only newsworthy information to be shared. Surely all over this planet there are good stories to balance all that negativity. But perhaps that's not considered interesting. Well, I certainly seek out stories that uplift me rather than bring me down. Sometimes I take a news fast, which seems to be the only way I've discovered to help me gain some perspective. For the next few days or so, I'll be lost in the world of Oz and contemplating the nature of good and evil, it seems. I'll check the weather, hoping for rain, but otherwise stay away from news shows. Do you have a technique for attitude adjustments?
At the beginning of this harvest season, I've got a smidgen of optimism that fall is not that far away, and that a change in the weather will bring a change in my outlook, knowing that I will move away from pessimism and once again enjoy the beauty of life, my surroundings, and especially my network of friends and family. There is so much to be thankful for, and all I need is to count my blessings, right? Let's see: I'll begin right here, with you, my dear readers, and I am looking forward to reading your comments and enjoying the company of the blogosphere.
I have never met most of you, but you have definitely taken residence in my heart. I look forward to your blogs, seeing what you're doing, what is on your mind, and taking a peek into your world through your writing and pictures. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found you, and I open my Reader wondering who I'll be visiting today. After I finish this post, I'll take a look. I wanted to get this written before I did anything else this morning. And what do you know? It's done! Be well and take care until we meet again next Sunday morning.