Beltane

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The Celtic May Day Festival


While the men drove the cattle through the fires, Nonna bade me help her with the bannock. “You’ve the touch fer it,” she said, and held up her curled and crooked fingers as proof.

I knew the real reason. No other young lass was being kept inside with the summer just newly cracked over the fields.

I mixed and kneaded and patted, producing golden wheels no better and no worse than any other. Nonna cut each one into wedges. I smudged the largest piece with a daub of charcoal from the fire. We packed the warm bread into a clean bonnet and carried it to the fields.

Old Davy shoved the others to be the first to try his luck. He bent over the bonnet, his lips but a kiss from my bosom. He stank of watered whiskey and the crust betwixt one’s teeth.

Nonna mumbled, fingers twitching in useless agitation. I closed my eyes and prayed Old Davy’s greed would net him the bannock we had blessed. Nay, cursed. Let summer’s luck be his. I prayed for him to win, to leap into the fire rejoicing. I yearned for us to throw him into the flames, and to speak of him as if he were dead, [even but for a day.]

Story Notes

13/100 of #The100DayProject. Written May 03

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