Monday, August 2, 2021

Loaf-Mass Day

Lammas loaf owl with salt eyes
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Ever heard of Lammas (or Loaf-Mass) Day? Well, we're there, celebrating the day between the first day of summer and the fall equinox! Days are getting shorter up here at our latitude by almost three minutes a day, and although we still have the potentially hot month of August ahead, we are hopefully past the worst of the heat.
August begins with Lammas Day, Loaf Mass Day, the day in the Book of Common Prayer calendar when a loaf baked with flour from newly harvested corn would be brought into church and blessed. It's one of the oldest points of contact between the agricultural world and the Church.

 And if I had any corn in my garden, I too could bake a loaf from the new corn and get it blessed by somebody in some church somewhere. Yeah, right! If I ever went to church, that is, and if I knew how to bake bread. I did know how once upon a time, but that is so far in the past that I have totally forgotten how. In any event, I can still mark the day on the calendar and give thanks that we are halfway through the summer season, my least favorite of the year. I know plenty of people look forward to warm days and long nights, I'm just not one of them. My favorite season is fall, and we are now closer than ever!

Blackberries everywhere

On my way back home from the coffee shop, gym and bus ride,  I walk daily past these blackberry bushes, watching them go from bare branches with no leaves to flowers, and now to the ripening berries. These are Himalayan blackberries, not native to our area but ubiquitous and prone to taking over large swatches of land. But I have to say, they are incredibly delicious and a delightful snack on the way home. I munched several, but when I found one that simply fell off the vine into my hand and melted in my mouth, I stopped. Why keep going when you've reached perfection?

Now if I could only find the perfect post, I could stop right there. However, I don't think I'm really in any danger on that front. And I am actually enjoying writing them lately, since I've given myself permission to go wherever my fancy leads, wherever my internal winds blow.



  1. I've recognized Lammas Day for some years, though I expect many won't. It now overlaps with Emancipation Day in Canada, like your Juneteenth. I'd love to know if there a connection.

  2. Lammas Day is new to me. I’m a native Georgian and we are culturally all Baptist. What we offer in anyone can join the church no matter what, we are short in tradition. Like you I am not much of a church goer.

    That said, the idea of Lammas Day makes me think of the Green Corn dances by our native brethren.

  3. Never heard of it! Thank you for sharing and I envy your blackberries...I would make jam!

  4. Do you know I can’t remember ever having a blackberry, but now you’re making me want to try one straight from the bush. What fun!!!

  5. Your blackberries are fruiting early. Blackberry and apple pie is one of my favourites.

  6. It is FUN to write on a whim instead of a "planned" subject. I agree. (And fun to read)

    I just made a blackberry pie...delicious.

    That bread is so "cute".

  7. I've heard of Lammas (I think) but never knew what it was.

  8. We usually get two weeks of humid hot weather in July. Not this year. We had lots of rain and cooler temperatures. One can’t complain about rain this summer though…

    Lammas is interesting. A new one for me.

  9. Lammas is new to me also. Always open to learning something new.
    How neat that you have such a yummy treat waiting for you to pick on your walks.

  10. Those berries do look delicious. And it is good that you let your creative juices take you here there and everywhere. Keep writing!

  11. We foraged blackberries last weekend and ate them with our Perkin's pancakes. Yum!

  12. New middle of summer day to me, too, but I will be glad when fall arrives. Autumn is also my favorite time of year. :) I am enjoying these posts, BTW.

  13. I didn't know about Loaf Mass day either. I did bake a loaf of Banana bread for August 1st. Does that count?
    I wrote an ode to Himalaya blackberries for a friends Face book post. Maybe I should share it.


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