There has been much joy in this year’s garden. We have been blessed with a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables — the reward of my husband’s labor — combined with the riches that our chickens add to our ever-growing compost pile. But, the sight of the dry, dead vine that once was this summer’s green bean crop leaves little doubt that the summer’s bounty is swiftly coming to an end. Soon, all that is left of the sweet tastes of summer will be what has been captured and stored on pantry shelves lined with my grandmother’s canning jars, and in our generously-sized freezer.
Mabon, one of the four Quarter festivals in some pagan traditions, coincides with the autumnal equinox. It is sometimes referred to as the second harvest, and an excellent time to identify those things in your personal life that may be out of balance, the time to take steps to re-align and re-ground yourself. It is a good time to stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with everyday life.
I like to think of Mabon as the “second chance” harvest. As I carefully gather and preserve the seeds from this year’s garden, I ensure that I have the chance of an even better and bigger harvest next year. Any disappointments lingering from this year — caused by uneven watering, hungry pests, waiting too long to pick them, etc. — can be overcome during the next season, as long as I have a strong, viable seed to plant.
Unfortunately, while our garden thrived this summer, we experienced more than our share of disappointments in our personal life. Specifically, our family business has not weathered as well as as our vegetable patch, and we believe it is time to change direction. It is time to harvest what we have grown, save the viable seeds, and re-plant in another location. It is not failure that we harvest from this experience; it is opportunity — to build something stronger and better than that we leave behind. Because we have a strong foundation on which to build, we are optimistic that our new venture will succeed where the old one did not. We will embrace the darkness, knowing it only to be a period of regeneration — from which will come rebirth.
I wish you blessings.