I sit here, listening to the occasional wind gust blow through the tree in the backyard – followed by the whoosh of a passing car in the street below. On the speakers, I have the Garcia Plays Dylan album wafting through the speakers of my iMac. I don’t really know why, but every year around the start of autumn, I tend to play a lot of Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, and Bob Dylan. Its just the type of music that I envision myself listening to while sitting on the porch in a rocking chair.
This is also the time of the year that I hear various Pagan folk commenting about the “dark” of the year. Perhaps its the associated imagery of All Hallow’s Eve that tend to bring that up. Maybe its something else – but for me, this is the time of year where everything starts to thrive. The harvest is coming in, and the preparations are being set into motion for the coming of winter (anyone hear a Stark there?). In my environment, my thoughts begin to turn inward. I start turning the previous year over in my mind, reading back on journal entries through that time, and looking forward to where my steps are about to take me.
Sure, the days grow shorter, the nights grow longer, the weather turns colder….that doesn’t mean that the world is getting meaner or that there is a reason to be scared. Darkness is nothing more than a point of existence, where light is not as prevalent. Its still a part of our environment, just a change from what we have been used to in the spring and summer. And to be completely honest, I do my best meditations during these longer nights of the winter.
Over the past year, I have watched as Coyote has moved a little further away from my circle of understanding. Crow has become a far greater influence in my daily meditations. I have also started to feel the pull of Lugh and some of the Celtic influences that speak towards my Druidry lessons. Perhaps not as strong as others have felt that same pull, but it is there. And now, I feel a slight pull from within the legends of the Celts through Fionn mac Cumhaill. Very odd directions for me, but I walk where my Path leads my feet.
I know there are those that see the winter as an oppressive spirit that brings darkness, and a lack of the sunlight. For me, its a little different time. I still spend time outdoors, even when it snows or rains. Just because the weather changes, my connection to my environment does not. There’s plenty for me to do…plenty for me to learn, plenty for me to experience. And that is how I know I am alive…I still feel that connection, to the environment around me, the plants, the animals, the Kami of the land, the Gods… Yes, I know I am alive…