Sunday, October 3, 2010

I feel Autumn today.

Like I said. Today is ripe with the scent of familiarity. It's my favorite time of the year again. Despite the Fates' attempt to commandeer my feelings about Autumn, I still regard her as my favorite season. There's color, change, and promise of rebirth. Everything getting ready for the long winter ahead. It's as if the earth is breathing in after breathing out since the Spring.

I'm feeling very creative today, we'll see how that shapes up, but I definitely think some drawing is in order.

And now for something Gothic. So much color surrounds Autumn. Yellows, oranges, reds, browns, and clinging shades of fading green. There are grays and whites and blacks toward the end, and some blues. Then Winter, in all of its minimal white, flecked here and there in blacks and greys, like ash from an autumn explosion. The irony here, is that Autumn, for all its color and whimsical holidays, is first and foremost a season of death. The veil between the worlds is reputedly thin at this time, the earth seems to waste and decay, the color fades. Ghosts return to us in this season on holy days like samhain, halloween, El Dia de los Muertos, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, and a host of others. Harvest, the gathering of the fruit of dying plants for storage through the winter and the eating of harvested meat is celebrated on various feast days in Autumn. Underlying all of these joyful festivities is the theme of death, eturnity, blissful sleep, and faith that Spring will return after the Winter. All the life that is sucked out of the landscape will magically return as the Sun begins to show its face more and the days lengthen. A gamble, at best.

The theme of death has been shrouded more and more in the gradual evolution of the Autumn holidays. What used to be regarded as solumn celebrations of ancestors and lives lost has turned into the candy-flinging frolic of Halloween, and the gorge-fests of Thanksgiving, the Feast of St. Michael (one of the 4 evangelists), the Mid-Autumn Festival (celebrated in many Asian countries), Durga Puja (a feast for Durga, Mother Goddess and slayer of demons), and countless others.

But, also underlying the theme of death is a feeling of hope and deliverance. Why would we gather and store for the Winter unless we were sure we'd be alive after the sun "dies" on the eve of the Winter Solstace? We take solace in knowing, by faith, that it will be reborn again on the morning of the Solstace. And Spring will return, so we can do it all again.

This musing brought to you by... A faint scent, and a feeling. It is Autumn today. I love it.


  1. And right as I posted this, I found out that my childhood cat, Mittens, was dying. He passed away yesterday between 3am and 7am. He was 18. We think his kidneys failed. I'll miss him. I buried him in the back yard in the field with all the grasshoppers. I sprinkled catnip on him, and set up a flagstone grave marker. Kris and I put flowers there.

    And the Earth inhales...

  2. Quite poignant your comment concerning the juxtaposition between whimsical holiday celebrations, vibrant colors, and the inevitable decay and wasting process that winter beckons...good reminders of the balance of life.