Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Samhain!

In the times before Christianity reached the Celtic nations of northwest Europe, the celebration of the last harvest, or Samhain, marked the coming of the dark and solemn time of year between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. It is a time for reflection and self-inventory. It’s a time to honor the ancestors and those who have passed on, as this is the time that the veil between the realm of the dead and the living world is at its thinnest. It’s the time to come to an understanding of the cycle of life, including the great mystery of death.

Samhain survived the rise of Christianity and made its way to the United States through the Scottish and Irish immigrants of the 19th century, and was renamed Halloween. And, like all American holidays, it became commercialized and stripped of most of its meaning.

I’m at a time in my life where I often find myself longing for the deep connection to Nature that I felt when I was much younger. I had a visceral and instinctive understanding of Nature’s seasons and cycles, that years of urban, subtropical living have softened. I also find myself thinking a lot about the cycle of life and the inevitability of death and I want so much to understand more.

I’ll most likely walk around South Beach tonight with friends, admiring the wackiest and the most creative costumes. But I’m also going to take some time this hallowed eve to notice the quietness and stillness of the retreating light, and to consider my life’s cycle and purpose.

1 comment:

Lauren J said...

Fascinating stuff! You know you & Tony are always welcome to visit my CT house and experience the seasons there!

Enjoy Samhain!!!