English folklore has it that if it rains today, then it will rain for the next forty days:
St Swithin’s Day if thou be fair
For forty days ’twill rain no more.
St. Swithin’s Day if thou bring rain
For forty days it will remain.
Farmers once anxiously watched the skies on St Swithin’s Day as too much rain at this time of year would ruin the harvest. St. Swithin was a ninth century English Bishop. When his bones were removed from the churchyard into the cathedral he seems to have objected, as a thunderstorm broke and went on for forty days; he was weeping at the moving of his grave.
This is a month that celebrates many patron saints and deities of water, wells, grottoes and shrines.
© Anna Franklin