Lammas Harvest Celebration, The Mayflower Ship, Exmouth, Devon Castles, and high summer Coast Trail. Sometimes it seems I am in resonance in a magical mystical way with events beyond my knowing. Sunday I created a soup for my guest, Helen, her birthday weekend, and until I placed the golden (the color of Lammas) bowl filled with golden carrot, sweet potato, and pumpkin soup infused with herbal spice marinade in her hands, I had never heard of Lammas (the word derived from ‘loaf mass’), a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season, the gratitude for abundance celebrated by many cultures.
Each step of the way during the morning instinctively and with clarity, I chose to not chop coriander into the marinade as usual, or add green onions to the simmering. I enjoyed creating the golden color as I was stirring in golden spices of turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, and other herbs and spices. We were delighted with the meal and I with learning about Lammas, so no photo of the golden soup served in a clear golden bowl. It all just happened naturally as it was meant to.
After lunch, we drove to where the River Ex from Exeter flows into the sea at Exmouth, the original departure port of the Mayflower, though a storm sent the Mayflower to shelter in Plymouth before they set sail officially for America, and Plymouth got all the credit.
Crusades also set out from Exmouth and the castles and the old town display the history and safety of this beautiful port. Sunday was calm at the sea with a miraculous blue color mimicked in layers of blue-white clouds. Helen knows so many pearls of wisdom and history, it was a joy to hear snippets that provided depth as we leisurely strolled through a forest area along the sea trail edged with nettle, dock, wildflowers, and thorn bushes. Surprised by seal play we laughed our way through overgrown fern trails.
The ancient 12th Century castle stonework, the meandering walk along the sea as we talked about the philosophy of Rudolph Steiner, plants, nature and life in general, the fresh air, and the friendly passing of hikers and families created a special day. A leisurely tea and biscuits overlooking the sea view at the fort before we stopped in Exmouth.
The word Lammas originates from the word “loaf” for bread and “Mass” in reference to the primary Christian liturgy celebrating Holy Communion at the time of the blessing of the First Fruits of harvest, with a loaf of bread being brought to the church for this purpose with ceremonies offering the first loaf to be shared with the community.
Lammas is also the time of Lugh the Celtic Sun King God of Light festival in honor of the Harvest Grain, Demeter, and Earth Mother, as the energetic abundance of the Sun is beginning to wane, bringing in the time of change and shift, autumn and winter beckoning, with the sowing of Persephone, the seed dropped into the darkening earth.