Oct 29, 2013

Last October Eves



I was out in the back yard early this evening.  I watched as the light fled from the approaching dusk, and felt the temperature drop so swiftly that it startled me.  One moment I was eating blood-red raspberries from the canes rescued from an abandoned lot, and the next I was staring at my misty breath hanging in the air.

I noticed that, not too far from the still-producing raspberries, the rhubarb has died off.  The impossible to kill plant is one of the first to return in the early spring, but I'm in awe of how completely dead it looks now. Not an ounce of life appears to remain in its withered leaves that are already prostrate on the earth, preparing to become a part of it again.

Across the yard, the sunflowers still follow the short and swift path of the sun, blooming as if they had all the time in the world.  The chickweed looks better than it has all summer.  The yarrow is bright and bushy again, growing a second crop of fuzzy leaves, while the skullcap has long dropped its foliage and looks like a tiny barren forest.

What a strange thing to see so much green and brown, life and death, and smell rot right alongside ripe apples and savory onions and the last of the kitchen herbs, lingering in their pots.  An odd yet delightful time of last tastes and thresholds.

We are wading deeper and deeper into the dark now, but there are plenty of opportunities for feast and celebration.  While we mark departures on one hand, we note the return of (and negotiate our peace or passion with) the shadows and those that live and thrive within them.

Do you wander out into the dark and meet the ones who preside there?  Or sit by a candle, having made your offerings, and spend time with familiar spirits?  There is no wrong answer.  This time of year invites as much good-company-keeping as it does mischief.

Whether you join the goblins running amok this week, or simply offer a spirit plate to those passing by, no longer in the flesh, I do hope you find much magic on these last October eves.






10 comments:

Aine O'Brien said...

Beautiful post. Yesterday I noticed what appeared to be "sudden death" in the air, the garden almost unrecognizable, the darker cooler days, a certain something in the air.

Happy Hallows Eve to you!

Betty W said...

This is the time of year that I make a point of going to the cementary and visiting our loved ones who have passed away. I will also being saying a prayer to them tonight and leaving the extra plate at our dining table.

mxtodis123 said...

I'll be sitting by the candle tomorrow eve. Today is preparation day. This will be my first Samhain as a retired old Crone. Looking forward to it.

Linda Wildenstein said...

Feeling this autumn differently than others that have come and gone. It is going to be necessary to "clear the air" and make peace with the spirits. I started this work at the full moon and will continue through Dia de Los Muertos. Much like my ancestors, I will sit and commune with and share a meal with those long gone.
This was a beautiful post, thank you for your lovely thoughts, Oma Linda

Sarah said...

I feel some of the gods move into the house this time of year. Some stay outside to be part of the winter and the weather and the death cycle, but others move inside and make the home cozy. Some days - and nights - I sit on the back porch wrapped up in a blanket and enjoy the quiet outdoors, but most nights I spend indoors.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i will be passing out candy and sipping cider. it's going to be 70 degrees here...sheese!!!

Mario Zeleny said...

October has magic embedded in it... so even if you do nothing, the magic will find you. I guess a good prayer is that our eyes remain open and we stay alert...

We gather together family but on Nov 1, 2, and 3 we remember our ancestors.

Great Post!

halloween spirit said...

Wonderful post! I love the smell in the air at this time of year.

sandra hagan said...

October eves are filled with feelings. Leaving food for the passerby's and family is a favorite part of my traditions.

We are even at the marvelous door of winter, less is more. Less is more quiet, we can gather goodness for the coming seasons.

Happy Halloween Eves and Halloween.

Rue said...

I like that Sandra. "Less is more quiet..." I'm needing a bit of quiet.