Autumn Equinox

There are three harvest festivals in the Pagan Wheel of the Year. The first is Lammas (also known as Lughnasadh) which is the grain harvest (wheat and barley). The second is Autumn Equinox, which is the fruit harvest (particularly relevant in southern Ontario with the huge fruit-growing region of Niagara). It is also the time when day and night are of equal length, but the nights are going to get longer until the Winter Solstice. The third harvest is Halloween (known in Scots Gaelic as Samhain, in Irish as Samhuinn, and in Manx as Sauin), which is when farmers would traditionally slaughter any animals they could not feed during the winter, and salt down their meat for food supplies over the lean cold months. 

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Autumn’s fiery face

Autumn’s fiery face
shifts and ripples across the woods,
catching and snagging
the lips of Summer
in a blushing kiss.

A tiny patch of red leaves among the green,
scorching and kindling
A rhodochromatic fire.

It starts softly,
Then rages across the land,
Not destroying but creating.

Dropping the leaves quietly on the ground,
Nests for beetles and fungi,
Worms and larvae,
Breaking them down for compost
To feed new life.


© 2021, Yvonne Aburrow


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