August 4th was the Feast of the Descending Sun, an old Celtic festival called Lughnasa. This marks the turning of the corner from Summer to Autumn, and i usually notice it as a shift in the quantity and quality of the light.
This year, even without being aware of the date, I noticed a distinct feeling of Autumn in the air around my house that day. it was a bright, clear and jovial feeling, edged just ever so slightly in bittersweet.
last week we had warm weather and i could spend more time outside at night just absorbing the dazzling brilliance of the high summer night. Night is falling earlier, it's true, but the darkness of the high summer night is ardent in color and vibrant in reflected light of moon and stars. the world shimmers in solar energy cloaked in the darkness of the night. this convergence of opposites makes us feel that all is possible, and dreams may come true.
perhaps this is what our dear friend shakespeare had in mind when he wrote a play called 'a midsummer's night dream.'
For a modern treatment of this festival, see the film (on video or DVD) 'Dancing at Lughnasa,' starring Meryl Streep.