Now, in wide swatches to the east of us, where the six mule teams still pull threshers and barefoot women hoe kitchen gardens and hang clothes on lines, the corn stands high and tasseling. If we can just get a few more inches of rain into the ground, this year should provide a spectacular harvest of maize too.
Another gentlemen, of a more scholarly bent, protested. He said that these loaves were a living link to the past, to the powerful Celtic sun and smith god, Lugh. Yet another man, this one in a green tweed jacket, disagreed. He claimed the loaves represented an even more ancient Celtic divinity, a god of vegetation, one who was born, died, and resurrected again every spring, on and on, for more than a thousand years all across the British countryside. That divinity's name--since the genocide of the Roman occupation--had been forgotten.
The impulse remains to say thank-you to the earth and the living gifts she bestows which sustain us. August always begins in my house with the baking of a few celebratory loaves, no matter how goll-durn hot it is outside.