Lughnasa 2019

Lughnasa and the Moon of the First Harvest

Today is Lughnasa, the Celtic first fruits festival, celebrated by baking bread and other foods from the wheat gathered now. I started my radiation treatments four days before the summer Solstice and will end them 9 days into Lughnasa. On the Celtic calendar, summer has come and gone during my time with the CyberKnife. Since the CyberKnife uses photons, it seems apt to have had the summer sun as my companion.

Perhaps this year my own first fruits will be the elimination of my cancer. I won’t know, of course, for some time, up to two years and three months depending on the duration of the Lupron. It’s possible (likely?) that the primary salvage treatment, radiation in my case, will have ended this return bout on or around August 9th.

Next week, too, are the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The atom as city killer. I’ve not forgotten either that June 17th, the day of my first treatment, was the day after Father’s Day.

Lughnasa is the first of three harvest festivals in the Celtic year. Following Lughnasa is Mabon which falls on the Autumnal Equinox. It coincides with what this Midwestern boy has known as the main harvest, and the Harvest Moon. After that is Samain, or summer’s end, the final harvest festival, on October 31st.

As I’ve mentioned often here, my soul gets fed best as the days grow shorter and the nights longer. I consider Lughnasa the beginning of the inner journey that culminates on the Winter Solstice.

Yes, it really starts on the summer Solstice, the day of light’s triumph, but the summer season, just ended, is a celebration of light’s triumph. A good thing, too, since it provides the energy and the heat for vegetables, fruits, and the big cash crops like wheat and corn and beans. We’ll need them as the fallow season commences on Samain.

I can feel the Great Wheel’s dark energy. Since the summer Solstice, we’ve gained 45 minutes of night. This is my favorite part of the year, these next 8 months, Lughansa to Ostara, the vernal equinox. I’m glad the next part of this inner world journey will occur now.


Lughnasa and the Moon of the First Harvest

Lucky number 7. 28 fractions as of yesterday. 29 today. Weary and distracted, but I can feel a positive energy eager to emerge when the radiation finishes. Will not miss the daily trips to Lone Tree. Nothing from the Lupron except some mood changes. Hoping I’ll stay that way.

Kate’s having some tough times right now. Gupta, the pulmonologist, who seems knowledgeable but disorganized, has not give her a diagnosis, prognosis, or a plan. She started seeing him in January. The lung disease is the last piece of the long march and his foot dragging has caused her anxiety.

Kate’s mom had a lung disease, died from it. She says, “I’m becoming my mom.” No, I said. You may share some physical issues, but you are definitely not becoming your mom.

Her body has been giving her trouble for over two years. That’s a long time to deal with a cranky gut, weight loss, Sjogren’s, debilitating bleeds. Stress has built up and has so many triggers for her that it’s hard for her to achieve inner peace. Illness spreads out to the mind, to the family, to the community. Few are ill alone.