The natural world’s bounty thrills us yet more with her Scarlet beauties

Traditionally the 1st August was a day to welcome the harvest and indeed was often the first day of harvesting. On this day the first sheaves of grain were cut and then the first
bread of the season was baked. Throughout these celebrations fairs were held and great fires were lit, it being the Summer Fire Festival. It was also in honour of Lugh, a splendid
Celtic being of sun and light, and representing great craftsmanship and warriorship whose magical spear gleamed as if imbued with jewelled sunlight. Lugh, a luminary of the day
to be sure. Although Lammas provided much prolonged merriment, it also heralded the time to gather and store for the months ahead.

We have the pleasure of Scarlet friends early this year as portrayed by many flowers, fruits, hips and berries. Though Red comes in many delicious tints and shades, for me
Scarlet is the purest, truest Red. It holds the most light, has great personality, energy and resonance. A colour much sought after in history for dyes and paint pigments via
plants and other sources. Apothecary and Herbalist Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654) had much to say on the medicinal virtues of roses. Of the red rose he affirmed: Red roses
strengthen the heart, the stomach, the liver and the retentive faculty.
There is a slight
hint of Orange within Scarlet giving it a luminescence. Indeed it radiates confidence,
enthusiasm, passion, strength and courage. Scarlet never goes unnoticed such is its impact. It has long been associated with ‘riches’ and Mother Nature certainly gifts us
these riches and we are recharged by their glowing nature, beauty and boldness, Kissed by late afternoon sun, Scarlet flowers are set ablaze, dazzling us with their
incomparable energy. Held in our memory, we can take some of this energy with us for the months to come. It can counteract ‘the blues’ and lessen debility. Here I am
reminded of a saying from the I Ching that goes something along the lines of: Be not sad. Be like the sun at midday, giving light to the whole world. The Scarlet rose has
got to be the quintessential symbol of love, an ardent, boundless and deep love.

In memory and dedicated to dear neighbour and friend Bob, a special human being.