Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Song of a Daily Druid

The November issue of Pagan Pages is up, along with my column Song of a Daily Druid. This month's column, "The No-Time Before Beginning," confronts the sometimes less-than-ideal reality of sickness and loneliness during these times of increasing cold and darkness. I found it a bit of a struggle to write this month, struggling with lingering illness of my own, but I hope to return to the themes of poetry, bardic work and the ancestors in next month's column. For now, please enjoy:

We cannot always be rushing full speed ahead.

Druidry teaches us that there are cycles, seasons that turn over and shuffle through one another. At Samhain, summer's end, we enter a time of darkness, before the rebirth of light on the winter solstice. Now is a time of dissolution, and sacrifice. And bad chest colds with persistent, aching cough. Amber and rusted-ruby bleed through the tree leaves along their brittle veins, and I notice how they scab around the torn edges of old holes chewed out by summer insects now sluggish or dead. Outside my window, rain shivers down through the evening fog and clings to every surface, and slips, and falls, and clings again; each leaf wavers limply in the breeze, damp but still shining, ablaze like the sun's going-down. They are so devoted. They mimic her, like the rain; they fall. We are all going down, stepping gently into the dusk, into the coming dark.

Last year, I dreamt often of brilliant mountainsides, spattered with the reds, oranges and yellows of foliage. My dreams were suffused with autumn. I noticed the subtle shifts as the season moved, changes I had never noticed before. The blushing rouge at the beginning, like wounds or lips opening up here and there among the worn summer green, just beginning to spread from tree to tree. The quaking yellows and golds at the height of the season, the whole woods cut through by low, bright sunlight and seeming to glow, the limbs of trees dark like veins starting to show through a papery sky, reflected in the surface of half-hidden streams gliding through layers of yellow leaves that had already fallen. ...

To read more, check out Song of a Daily Druid: The No-Time Before Beginning.

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