One of the reasons that drew me into being a witch is the joy of celebrating time's march. Some call it "The Turning of the Wheel" and look forward to the next marked holiday on that wheel. While I do so love celebrating the changings of the season, unlike other witches I do not celebrate dates on a calendar that show the season is changing. That is beautiful in its own right, but for me it is still trying to make time and the seasons fit what I want, not celebrating them for what they are. Instead I celebrate events as they come; when maple season starts, when the lambs are born, when the garden is started, when the first apple is harvested...
These do not always fall on the same day. Nature does not own a watch, nor does she mark days on the calendar. When she is ready she opens up the next season and does not wait for us to catch up. It is up to us to be ready for her and not ask her to follow our crude attempts of control.
I brought the first of the early apples in yesterday; Jersey Mac, Puritan, Duchess. The first bite into a sweet puritan apple is enough to die for. As much as I think I remember what apples taste like, my memory is nothing compared to that first bite when the juices explode against my tongue. If the legend of the apple leading us to sin is correct, I sinned big time today.
So this weekend I throw a party for those coming to help. Food will be spread out, apple jack will be passed around, and we will gather as we have done every year, to celebrate the event of the apple harvest, to celebrate the turning of the wheel. The summer solstice has come and gone, the days are getting shorter, the pull of preparing for winter in here, and we are celebrating the first harvest as has been done for generations. This is not symbolism nor an abstract religious gathering. This is the very real knowledge that through what we are doing, we go on, we continue on this life's path. For some reason, this makes the harvest even sweeter.