Lammas Message from Kate 2021

Lammas Greetings Beautiful People:

As we reach the peak of Summer, our sweetest fruits have ripened and we’ve entered the season of abundance. On August 1st and 2nd, we celebrate Lammas, the first of our three major gratitude festivals. Lammas marks the first harvest of grain and the halfway point between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Fall Equinox (Mabon). On this sabbath we reflect on our accomplishments, take note of lessons learned and give thanks for all of the blessings and experiences this year has bestowed upon us.

Here in the Sonoran Desert we have much to be thankful for! Our rattles, drums, dances, songs and pleading prayers have graciously been heard and answered. The rain storms have returned at last, to bless and drench our sacred ground after almost two years of little to no rain. This same time last year, when I was writing you a Lammas message, our land was bone dry and the rains never came for our Summer monsoon season; which provides most of our annual rainfall and hydrates the desert for the months ahead. Fires swept our mountains for almost six weeks straight, ravishing the forests and taking thousands of our 200+ year old Saguaros. 

This drought continued through the Fall and Winter of 2020 and Spring 2021, while creeks, washes and waterholes remained dry. Many of our oldest trees, bushes, cacti and desert wildlife got drained of all life force and laid their bodies to rest. It seemed apocalyptic, giving us desert dwellers sleepless nights while we contemplated our uncertain future. All the while, people from major cities started moving to Tucson in droves, gobbling up houses and land and outbidding every sale. A place that has been relatively unknown, affordable and tranquil has become expensive for many locals who’ve lived here for decades. To date, we have had no water use restrictions. Golf courses continue to be watered, people leave their faucets running liberally and water their trees, plants and lawns as if there were no tomorrow. 

When will we learn? How severe do the wake-up calls need to be for people to change their ways?

In Europe, they are under water. In the West of the US there are wildfires. Drought, floods, fire. It sounds Biblical. It's all upside down. What are we going to do? I have no answers, except that we must keep trying to be better stewards of our planet and keep reminding ourselves that WE ARE THIS PLANET. We are not separate from it and therefore we need to keep doing all we can to do our part, make adjustments in our lives, and inspire and remind others to do the same.

Every dollar we spend is energy. We can ask ourselves: Is this dollar hurting or helping the planet? It is impossible to get it all right and often we need to let it go and just do what we can. But sometimes small things can make big changes. For example, thanks to a friend sharing with me that yellow sponges are not biodegradable, I started using ones that are. I am a far way from being as conscious as I hope to be one day, but little by little, with the help of my community, I try to make better choices every day - for the planet and its inhabitants, my body, mind and spirit and the land I call home.

So here we are entering the season of gratitude in a time of contention, division and upheaval. Just for today (and maybe tomorrow) let’s reflect on the beauty and blessings we have in our lives. Let’s look to the trees, the mountains, the birds, the clouds and the people we love and say THANK YOU for being part of who I am. 

We have received and we have been given, we have suffered and we have overcome, but the wonders of this planet will never cease. 

Wishing you bountiful blessings this Lammas!





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