Samhain

Here is the latest blog detailing the local changes in my landscape as the wheel turns again.

So we have reached Samhain and seven eights of the year gone (or 87% if you prefer) By the next turn at Winter Solstice I will have written about the full year. The change since the autumn Equinox, has perhaps been one of the most marked of the year.

You know that moment late on a winters afternoon when you look out of the window and realise its suddenly gone dark? well the change at Samhain is a bit like that to me. All of a sudden its darker mornings and darker evenings and the temperature has dropped.

A drop in temperature is one of the first things I notice at this turn. As I cycle to work in the morning, I am now having to wear gloves. There is a definite chill in the air. The other big difference is the light. It is noticably darker at 6.30 in the mornings when I start my journey. The daylight appears before I end my ride to the train station, but I am no longer starting the journey in full light. I feel it wont be long until the whole journey is undertaken in the darkness.

The up side of this is that I get to see the old lady/Goddess again three quarters of the way through the morning cycle. When its dark in the mornings, there is a point in my journey where I look up and the light shining through the avenue of trees looks like the figure of an older lady walking towards me. As I near this point I always say “morning my lady” whether I see the figure or not. But when its darker, I always see the figure. Illusion or the Lady greeting me? . To add to this, it is at this point that I nearly always see an actual older lady who always says good morning as she walks past with her wicker basket. It also seems to me that if I don’t say “morning” to the “illusion of a lady (whether in Summer or Winter) then I never see this real old lady walk past me. Now I know what I make of this, and what I believe, so I wont explain it try or justify that here. But this time of the year as the mornings stay darker for longer, it always feels good to greet the lady at this spot in my journey.

At the other end f the day as I cycle home at around 6.00pm it is now completely dark, I have to have the bike lights on in order to see the path. Of course part of the reason for such a marked change in light is that we still mess about with our clocks during the Summer, and so when they go back to GMT at the end of October we really notice it. But the light is fading quicker as we enter the dark half of the year

The changes to the landscape are becoming more marked too. The fields either side of the cycle track are often blanketed in silvery frost now. Trees still have leaves, but there is a lot less of them. many of them are now yellow or pale green as opposed to the vibrant greens of a couple of months ago. However we have had a fair bit of rain over the last week or so and this has given the grass a new lease of life, reviving it slightly from the browns of mid summer.

It is at this time of the year that i see the “green and burning tree” more often. The Winter sun rising lighting up the already orange and yellow leaves on one side, the other side still in semi darkness appearing fully green. I see this and always wonder what message may come from Annwn today.

Birds do still sing to welcome the dawn and I still hear them. Though they are not as loud to my ears. Of course that might be because I am hunched over the handlebars of the bike trying to stop the rain from trickling down my neck.

When I walk the dog in the woods, its the same story. Trees are still green, although not as green as in previous months. But there is a lot of yellow, orange and brown in the canopy of leaves. Leaves are obviously falling in large amounts as the path is covered in old leaves. That same path that was hard packed earth a few weeks ago is now soft slippery and muddy. Pools of water are forming again in some of the hollows in the ground. There is not a woodland plant to be seen on the ground now either. The only low lying plants are the mosses that perennially cling to the base of the trees.

The sky is generally grey these days, if its not raining, it is threatening to! But every so often we get a clear bright day to confuse the issue. On these bright days its still cold, but the sky gives the illusion of the warmer Seasons of the past. The Samhain weather is like our relationship to the ancestors as the veil thins. We live in the winter, we know its going to be dark and cold soon, but every know and again we are given glimpses of the sunny weather of the past. Reminding us that “nothing is forgotten”

By the time the wheel turns to Winter Solstice again I will ave been following the changes in my local area for a full 12 months. But until then, I hope you are staying warm and dry and have had a belessed Samhain.

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