Tim Chitwood

Monday Mail: Be thankful this Lammas midsummer

Tim Chitwood

tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com

Sometimes late when things are real and people share the gift of gab, it's Monday Mail.

Holiday

Today's opening is from the 1974 hit "Tin Man" by the band America, because it reminds me of midsummer. I was going to use a line from "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Crofts, but those lyrics specifically refer to July as "dressed up and playing her tune," and we're too late for that.

Harvest

Summer 2015 is half-over, as Aug. 1 or so marks the midway point.

Some of us have ancestors who called this the first wheat harvest of Lammas, or Lughnasadh after the Sun King Lugh, whose time in our northern hemisphere has grown shorter since the summer solstice.

Look this up online, and you'll learn customs include baking bread to represent the first harvest and the Sun King who provided it, then ripping it apart with your fingers and eating it, symbolizing the sun's dying to give you life.

Just don't let the neighbors know you're hosting pagan ceremonies or they'll burn you as a witch.

It's a good idea to keep the guest list short anyway, as baking lots of bread is expensive: You knead a lot of dough.

Serendipitous also is learning America has Druid churches, though you never see their services on TV, and missionaries never drop by to share the word of Lugh.

Make that another blessing to be thankful for, as we break bread before a midsummer night's dream.

Reality

While we're getting down to Earth, let's check the astronomical schedule:

The autumnal equinox, when the sun from our perspective crosses the equator and night and day are equal, will be 4:20 a.m. Sept. 23, a Wednesday.

Of course if you're a kid, you're probably not reading the newspaper and will never see this, but also you think summer ends as soon as you have to go back to school.

School will be back in session soon, so keep that in mind if you're driving around town then, and be sure to look for students at crosswalks and such, and that way you'll remember to feel sorry for them.

Spooky

Here's an email I got from "Michael" on Wednesday, the day before a shooting spree:

I don't know if a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. I doubt it seriously, not if the bad guy can ambush the good guy. And what if the good guy is a bit of a delusional vigilante that is pretty sure the end is near? Doesn't that make him a bad guy?

Enough of that. My question for you is can a good guy with a pen stop this guns-everywhere nonsense?

Dear Michael:

No, I don't think so.

Maybe someone who's psychic could, though.

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