Autumn used to be the time to savor my most intense feelings. Wrapping them tightly in earthen bundles, I’d carry them into the woods on aimless walks. Planting them a few feet down here and there, I’d wait for Samhain to burst their woven bindings when the moment was right. The invisible creatures of the forest made those bundles into something nourishing and maddening, elixirs that flipped me on my head and made me a stranger and more joyful man. The woods in Autumn encourage neither sadness nor sanity.
I’m not ready for Autumn this year for a lot of reasons. Its been a long cold, wet summer – in fact I wouldn’t really call it a summer at all. We had three weeks of sun and three months of gray. I was shocked to see the sunset after not having seen light in the sky for so long. It was like remembering happiness after being swallowed completely by sorrow.
Yesterday I had a new vision of him: a passionate man who’s life was on fire in every way. I’d never seen him like that, not in 44 years. What else have I missed?I no longer have to travel anywhere to find soil to bury my feelings in, I’m finding feelings that have been buried in me for decades. I wish it were spring or summer again, so I could have time to be tender with these treasures, let them grow into mighty flowering things that could share their secrets before surrendering to the cauldron of Autumn. But the nights are getting longer, and the gray skies are colder and weighed down with the wetness of distant places.
Autumn must live inside of me a bit more now. I feel its decay and vitality, I yearn for the warmth that comes from a sun so low in the sky. I pray the fires that heat the cauldron of Autumn will burn especially hot this Samhain, so that I will have light and warmth to carry me through the winter.