Monday, October 18, 2010

Life and Death at the End of the Year

One of the positive things about being self (un)employed is that I can choose when "work" time is. Since my wife is also currently underemployed, we have more free time together than we ever have had. It has been pretty sweet. Today we opted to take a mid-afternoon walk in a local preservation area, the Edna Taylor Conservancy. ETC has a special spot in my heart as I helped build boardwalks over the marsh the summer before I started high school. (The boardwalks are all gone now as the marsh has grown in and been "managed" so they now have a "wetlands" and a "pond".) The weather was cool and windy, and quite overcast.

Reena Taking a Photo

Fall walks are always interesting: We get to see what is dead or dying, and what is holding out to the bitter (cold) end. As a Pagan, the wheel of my year starts and ends at Samhain, colloquially known as Hallowe'en. It is a time of drawing in - putting up the harvest, preparing for winter, and taking stock of one's self. It is a time for acknowledging death.

Death Finds the Shrew

Samhain is not all gloomy though. While it is true that many of the traditions associated with it (and Hallowe'en for that matter) focus on death, there is the acknowledgment of the life that has been, and, if we have prepared well, will have again when the sun returns at Yule (you might call it Christmas). It is all part of a cycle; life and death. Still, it always provides me a bump of happiness when unexpected life is discovered.

Much better if you View LARGE On Black!

In a few weeks the marshes will be frozen over, the amphibians asleep in the mud, and all but the hardiest birds will have flown south. We get Winter here. But for right now, we have a luscious fall and I am savoring it like a fine stew. I hope you enjoy it with me.

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