Over the years, I have celebrated many Harvest festivals. The ones of my youth, where the Church was decorated with many sheaves of corn and the delightful corn dollies we had made in school or at Sunday school.
The festivals attended by my own children in Yorkshire and the excitement on their faces as they carried home-grown produce to school on the morning of the Harvest celebration. The ones when we were living in Asia, the Moon Festival, where we would go to a local beach with a picnic and sit and watch the Moon, surrounded by other families, their faces lit by the hundreds of candles that had been placed in the sand.
This week, I had the pleasure of attending my granddaughter's Harvest Service. The Church was beautifully decorated and as I took my seat, I was overwhelmed by how the years fell away as I listened to the familiar story unfold, the message of gathering-in the harvest for the months ahead. The children's donations were made in boxes that will be handed out to those in need in the Parish, and my granddaughter's class participated by singing Bread from our Harvest and Super Sun, quite catchy tunes and very different from the Come Ye Thankful People Come of my childhood.
After the service, we went for afternoon tea to a favourite local Cafe.
My granddaughter is very excited about the baby sister who is only a few weeks away from joining her and her brother. She has even given the baby a name and I am not sure what will happen if my daughter and son-in-law choose a different one...
As I was sitting in Church that day, I was thinking about how my daughter is presently nesting, preparing for this new arrival and gathering her family ever closer to her. Autumn, a time to appreciate all our bountiful harvest blessings.