Travelling at Lughnasadh

After all the cautionary tales I’ve read — and taken to heart — about the perils of abjuring the safety of the festival fires to wander the wilds on cross-quarters or dare the wide world on full moons, you’d think I’ve have planned my son’s visit more carefully.

Ah, but I was focused on making sure he’d be here Sunday afternoon (so I could drag him with me to English Country Dance) and at his place for his Monday-night streams (ThatNeilJ gaming for our entertainment 357 consecutive Mondays and counting (check it out HERE)).  So I cleverly arranged for him to fly in last Tuesday and out late last night, failing to notice Tuesday was full moon and ignoring the fact that last night was Lughnasadh Eve.

His flight in was uneventful, but on the drive home from the airport, the warning lights on the dash-panel of our 2013 Prius C suddenly blazed into Christmas-light glory.  Every light.  After pulling over, killing the engine, waiting a sec, then restarting (have you tried turning it off and on again?), the dash only gave us the ABS, brake, and ! lights.  Yay?  Upshot — it’s a known ABS system problem covered by warranty, but the rental car we’re now needing for possibly two weeks is out-of-pocket.  Sigh.

Once we had wheels again, the rest of the week went smoothly.  Until Sunday night, of course.

As we pulled ourselves together to leave for the airport, my son got an alert from the airline.  His 10:20pm departure had been changed.  To 12:20am.  Checking the flight status a while later, departure had been bumped again, to 12:31am.

We settled into our comfy chairs and gamed for a bit to kill time. After some hours, we felt we had to head out, though the delay kept growing.  It hit its peak at 1:16am, then dropped down and held steady at 1:10am.  His plane actually left at 1:18am and landed (huzzah!) at 2:47am.

Right, then.  Another cautionary tale to add to the literature.  Clearly we should have sacrificed a chicken yesterday evening instead of getting Indian take-out.  Next time, fer reals, I’ll be bearing both the calendar and the folklore in mind when making travel plans.

If you intend to travel or welcome guests to your home, you might want to bear this 9th century Irish triad in mind:

Three things that are always ready in a decent man’s house; beer, a bath, a good fire.

Happy Lughnasadh, and may all the blessings of the season be yours.

6 thoughts on “Travelling at Lughnasadh”

    • Thanks, Amanda! But I guess I blew one of the rules of How to Write Good. Along with “Statistics are 100% useless”, “Always avoid alliteration,” and “Prepositions are not words to end sentences with,” there’s the one I forgot: “Emulate common parlance.”

  1. I love the triad sayings, but I’m sceptical about the bath, I have to admit ;-)
    The energy required to keep the water hot all day… ah well, at least there’s beer :-)

    Just been watching the funeral procession of Sinéad O’Connor along the Bray seafront. Alas, I don’t really have a good Sinéad story to tell. We lived on the same street where she went for singing lessons for a few years, in the city centre of Dublin. I door-stepped her once on the way in, and handed her one of our demo tapes (and yes, I mean tapes, actual tapes!). She was so beautiful, it was hard to look her in the eye. I very much doubt she listened to it, but my only hope is that one evening, as she was formulating yet another classic song, and ran out of blank tapes to make a quick recording, that she found ours and was able to get her ideas down before they vanished into the ether. And in that way, though it almost certainly never happened, I have convinced myself that our little band had a hand in her amazing career.

    It figures, right?

    • But … but … but that IS a good Sinéad O’Connor story! In fact, just meeting her fer-reals and in-person would have been a good story. Handing her a demo tape and, um, shall we say, inspiring her art? That’s a great story!
      As for the bath, when the guest arrives, the fire’s already good-to-go. In the old days, even on a hot day, a hearth’s embers would be banked so getting dinner going wouldn’t require excessive fire-starting effort. These days, the pilot light’s on, right? So, the guest arrives, you hand them a beer, as they down it, the hosts get the fire roaring and heat a tub’s worth of water (or these day, just draw the bath). Beer, bath, fire – done and dusted.

  2. Happy Lugnasadh! Went to a ritual on Sunday and sent you a blessing from our circle! hand threshed some barley, sang songs, and ate freshly baked bread. Wonderful holiday.


Leave a Comment