The first day of the month of Lùnasdal (August) is one of the old Scottish quarter days - a holiday to celebrate the early harvest, and the first bread made with the new wheat. To give thanks for what was given and anticipate the abundance still to come. It was a time for marriage - or handfasting (a trial marriage, which would last a year and a day - continued or not after that time). It was also a time to display craftwork - and this tradition lives on here at the various local agricultural shows going on around the Islands just now.
But it would also be a welcome respite from the hard work. The Summer here is short, but the days are long, and every hour of that light is precious. The fields would be busy from dawn to dusk - cutting and stacking hay, and reaping the corn.
John has been cutting and raking our hayfield, and a couple of good days should see it stacked.
We covet our neighbour's haystack - a work of art indeed.
But we give thanks for our own small harvest too.
And on this day, I have this beautiful song of Robert Burns in my head - it so encapsulates the whole essence of the Celtic festival of Lammas.
Or, you can read it, and hear it read here.
Wishing you blessings of abundance on this Lammas tide.