Samhain came and went, with a small devotional to remember our dead, and a changing of the altar. It’s been followed with conversations about death, about dying, about the fact that we are mortal. It’s not morbid; it’s allowing myself to ponder a part of life that our culture tries to shy away from. It’s reaching out to the Dark Goddess, the Crone, and acknowledging that she is as important as the Maid and the Mother. The cycle isn’t complete without her.
Practice and me…we go in and out. I think about things a lot, and read a lot, and do rituals less frequently. It feels right for now. Some days I need to light the candles on the altar and reach out to the unknown. Some days I need to stay grounded in the here and now.
Here and now, the leaves have fallen. The weather has become grey, and sometimes freezing, and often damp. October and November are migraine season for me, and I have spent more than a few days huddled in bed with my eyes covered while Eowyn watches cartoons in the same room with me. We’re coming up to the winter holidays and I miss the people we’ve lost. My grandmother feels more present right now, and as a result, I ache for her more than usual. Beowulf’s remaining grandmother and grandfather both died this year, and while I was not close to either of them, the empty spaces in the family echo.
Here and now, I listen to the music from Fun Home over and over again. I study Old Norse and find myself falling into the old routine of learning new vocabulary and grammatical structure. I make costumes, research historical clothing, sew bags for the Etsy shop. I ride the bus when our car doesn’t work. I get Eowyn up in the morning for preschool. I try to make myself write and drafting feels like pulling teeth some days.
Here and now. Death is all around as the leaves fall, the flowers die, the days shorten, and the family ghosts seem closer than usual.
Here and now, we light a candle against the dark, and remember.