Most of the blogs I read are suddenly all about fall, even the non-pagan ones. Everyone is longing for cooler weather. As my garden wilts, I wish for cool breezes, too. But there's a little more to it than relief from scorching heat. I think I'm beginning to figure out what I'm longing for.
This has been a rough year. I thought 2010 was the worst year of my life. Really, what can be worse than becoming diabetic? But 2011 has been the year of change. Lots and lots of changes, which leave me reeling and off-balance. Even the most basic of my routines are gone. Nothing in my life is like it was a year ago. I can't think of a single area that hasn't seen change or, and this is what blows my mind, I had to consider changing. Everything about me has been pushed under the microscope for close inspection.
I keep telling myself things will settle down soon. While not based on any evidence, I've gotten the idea that things will be better in the fall. I have no proof of this. I have no schedule to go by. I've not been made promises. No one has told me anything, or hinted at relief. Yet, I am undeniably convinced the fall will be my time.
I love the fall. I love the cool nights and windy afternoons. I love the gray rain (unlike the steamy rain of summer which only super-heats my yard). I love the falling leaves. I love how the year is winding down, yet everyone has so much bustling energy. People aren't burdened by the holidays in October. I love the pumpkins appearing everywhere, I love the creativity, the decorations, the costumes, and oh, I miss the candy sooooo much! How can anyone not be happy at Halloween?
I even love the dark side of Halloween. I love the skeletons, the ghouls, the black ribbons. I like how people make mock cemeteries on their front lawns. I even love the gross stuff, gory movie marathons and scary masks. Halloween is when we must face our fears and we are better for it. I hope if your child wants that really ugly, blood-dripping mask you'll give it to them. Please don't try to make Halloween 'safe', it's supposed to be scary. And I think the absolute saddest thing I have witnessed in my lifetime is the decline of home-made treats. Every year I turn on my porch light and wait with my big bowl of candy and every year less children come to my door. You can't teach community at a corporate sponsored event with strangers, you meet your neighbors when you knock on the door and scream, 'Trick or Treat!' And for god's sake, if someone soaps your windows you should have baked real chocolate chip cookies. It's a bribe- I'm good to you, so you be nice to me. Just pay up and hush.
That is what I'm longing for- the simpler times when people cared enough to hand dip apples instead of buying a bag of mini snickers. I want the time when mothers knew how to sew and they made the costume instead of buying everything. I want to be able to guess who is behind the mask based on the person's mannerisms and voice. We don't really know people that well anymore. We spend all our time behind our computers and phones, failing to notice eye color, speech patterns, and the way people walk.
Lammas is coming. For me this is the official End of Summer. It's the first harvest and I give thanks when all my work pays off. I start winding down. I chomp at the bit for Mabon, nearly rushing through so I can get to Halloween! Then I'm ready to wind down, to rest, to dream, to plan for spring. Lammas is when I always take stock and this year I might need to change directions entirely. I don't know what I will reap, but I accept responsibility for what I have done because only in learning my lessons can move on to what I want.
I might have to put out the jack-o-lanterns early this year.