Today is Samhain, commonly known as Halloween, the Pagan new year. Today, Pagans all around the world are celebrating the last of the harvests, the harvest of Souls, and preparing for the Long Dark, the time of winter, where we venture into our interiors and seek out our personal bogeymen to exorcise. We look around at what we have achieved over the active Spring and Summer months, harvest what we cherish, and take it with us. And we celebrate those who have Gone Ahead to the otherside.
I've spent the day in contemplation today, walking and meditating, deciding what I want to take with me into the Long Dark, considering what plans I could make for the next three months (I tend to work up to Christmas at this point, because its such a huge, stressful event that I can't see past it). And I have been thinking about what I have achieved this year, and what I have lost.
Of course, tonight is especially poignant, as I will be mourning the passing of my step-father, and celebrating the gifts he gave me. His wisdom, his quiet strength, his wicked sense of humour, all of which I miss terribly. But I feel like I have sat shiva for him long enough. The grief will go on, but its time for me to end the mourning. He wouldn't want excessive wallowing. Its time to open myself up to the future now.
So I feel optimistic. I don't know what my plans will be for the coming months yet - they normally come to me in the days following the Festival - but I feel that I am coming back to myself now, and that I am over the worst. Lets hope the Long Dark isn't as bad as it sounds this year...