My October Frame of Mind…

…is too often characterized by denial. If it snows this week, it’s going to catch me by surprise. I will not have gotten around to buying tights yet (other than the ones I’m wearing for Halloween, of course). In addition to being bare-legged in a skirt, my feet will be freezing like it’s the first time I’ve ever worn Cons in the cold.

I’ll stare at the snow on the road with an owlish consternation as it slowly dawns on me that my penchant for driving will be complicated by slow, slush, and ice. Every mountain trip for the next few months will be a gamble.

That’s the problem with living in my head so much. Seasons sneak up on me. I get caught up in the withering beauty and forget about the less poetic reality: dead is dead.

The natural world is emptying, becoming barren. The wind’s ferocious appetite will bite my skin, and comfort will give away to the need for endurance.

It’s ironic that my very denial always lures me into the shock of recognition. Some people never feel the cold. They bundle by the calendar and always carry extra gloves.

But me, I need to feel it. I need the harrowing loss of ease to shake me from my denial and from the illusion that I exist somewhere outside consequences, failure, and devastation.

I need winter. I need the corporeality of the corpse world. I need its rest, and I need it’s reminder.

From every harvest, some seeds are saved. Despite the fall of foliage there is some green that never leaves, and just because the seasons turn on wheel that does not mean time does not pass.

Some things do endure. The soul casts its bedrock deep, and for better or worse we are who we are, but we are also not alone.

Whether you call it Halloween or Samhain, it is the chance to take off the gloves and feel the wind’s bite.  It can be the graveyard we whistle past or the dumb feast of memory, but it matters.

Confronting our own darkness helps us see the light in each other, and from the ache of destruction comes the urge to create.

Happy Samhain.

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