Samain and the Moon of Radical Change
Tuesday gratefuls: Kate’s long streak of no/little nausea. 4 inches of new snow. White, fluffy. 19 degrees. Most excellent sleeping. Rigel with her head on my pillow last night when I came to bed. Shoveling this morning. My new LL Bean 8″ duckies. Covid. Wildfire risk suppression. All of us, all of us, in the U.S.
We’re in holiseason and I want to take a few posts before Thanksgiving to look at holidays that come up during this time period. Over the course of the next couple of weeks we’ll look at Diwali, Thanksgiving, Advent, Posada. Maybe even Black Friday. Ancientrails has been going for 15 years now, 2,000,000 plus words, and time to look back at its roots. When I started Ancientrails after my Achilles tendon surgery and long recovery, I also had an email focused on the Great Wheel holidays. I discontinued that long ago, but I’m feeling the energy from it again. I also want to remind us to widen our focus beyond our self-imposed lockdowns, the transition underway in American politics, the constant news of climate change, hurricanes, wildfires, rabid jellyfish. The universe and our corner of it, this swirling blue planet, are the context for everything. Holiseason offers us several opportunities to place ourselves in it.
Snow covers our solar panels shutting us off from energy generation for the moment. Broken cumulus Clouds have begun to transist from early morning pink to their daytime white. Clear blue Sky behind them. Black Mountain’s 10,000 foot peak has whitened Lodgepoles, as if they reflect the Clouds. It’s been warm here, now edging back toward Winter. A holiday feel at last.
It’s easy for us to get swamped by the quotidian. Groceries. Supper. Illnesses. Masks. Presidents and governments. To imagine that our lives exist only to navigate our way through the material world, putting on clothes and taking them off. Buying a new car. Worrying about retirement. Too easy. Our narrow sensory range, our minds attuned to the present risk, our hearts guarded from hurt. Close us in. We are far more. In a moment we can imagine ourselves in Kathmandu or Shanghai or on the Moon. We can lift our eyes from our phones and see Orion, a crescent moon, an ocean, a far away field. We can take a chance with another person. Open ourselves just a bit more than usual.
Holidays, I think, give us the periodic reminder to do that. Look to history with the Maccabees and Hanukah. Look to gratitude for family and friends at Thanksgiving. Look toward the birth of a death conqueror. Advent. Celebrate the journey of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus into Egypt. Posada. The victory of light over darkness, good over evil, ignorance over knowledge. Diwali. The profoundity and fecundity of the longest night. Winter Solstice/Yule.
Celebrate and dance to the music. Sing the songs. Eat the turkey. Hang a Christmas ornament. Spin a dreidel. Open a flap on an Advent calendar. Let your soul come out to play in this wonderful, magical, gracefilled universe.