A Shadow Mountain New Year!

Samain and the Summer’s End Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: Aspen Perks. Primos. 285 Cafe. Dazzle. Nocturne. Jazz. Chamber music. Rock and roll. Folk music. Blue grass. Blues. Darkness. About to light up in the morning with Standard Time. Paul in the kiva. Brother Mark in Saudi. Mary in K.L. My son and Seoah in Songtan. Diane in San Francisco. Me on Shadow Mountain. Israel. The World Series. Kirk Cousin’s Achille’s tear. Max Verstappen. F1. Trees still flocked with Saturday’s Snow.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Brother Mark in Hafir

One brief shining: Some evenings for dinner I take out a Cosmic or a Honeycrisp Apple, cut it in half with my sharp Japanese chef’s knife, slice each half into four pieces, cut out the seeds, throw the slices in a bowl, and add chunky peanut butter tastes like a caramel apple to me, a fall favorite from year’s gone by.


It’s time to gather round the bonfire, discard all those too confining clothes, and dance around the heat as you came into the world. I’ve never done this but I wish I had. Maybe I will. If I can find a pagan old folks Samain bonfire. Maybe at one of those fancy senior living places? Jews honor the pleasures of the body: dancing, hugs, exercise, good food, good sex so perhaps a Jewish assisted living facility? Not sure why this appeals to me, but it does. At least in the abstract. Yes, it’s the Celtic New Year.

So many New Years. Judaism has four: Rosh Hashanah-the civil new year and the New Year of the seasons. Tub’shevat-a new year for trees. A New Year that celebrated the birth of the nation, the reign years of kings, and the start of the Festival year. Finally a New Year for Cattle tithes. Gregorian New Year’s on January 1st. Chinese (Asian) New Years at the Spring festival. And many, many others.

An opportunity to celebrate a New Year according to the human calendar. Whenever it felt right to one culture, it can be adapted by us. I’m fond of Tub’shevat. The Trees had a new year because it was forbidden to eat Fruit from a Tree if it was under three years old. Sound horticulture to me. Like the new year for thoroughbreds which defines which horse can race in which year class. I’m also fond of the Asian New Year. I haven’t celebrated it in a while but during my docent days Kate and I went every year with Ming Jen Chen, who organized the meals at various Chinese restaurants.

That deal with the ball dropping at Times Square? Not so much. Though January 1st does feel like my New Year, the one my culture honors and therefore the day a year does change. I like it, too, just not the crowds and drunkenness. Kate and I always celebrated at home with a special meal, a fire, conversation. Sometimes we stayed up until midnight. Mostly not.

This Samain is special for me because it was on Samain of 2014 that I came to Conifer to close on the Shadow Mountain Home. 9 years owning this home. A tenth beginning today. A decade at 8,800 feet. So much has happened. So much.