November Chill

In a post looking back at an unobserved All Hallow’s Eve, I thought about the madness of the encroaching holiday season and the need to find sacredness in all of the other days on the calendar. As I recognize this odd in-between time that spreads from Samhain (the final harvest and the start of the Celtic New Year) to the return of the sun on the Winter Solstice, I think it is even more essential to find the touchstones that connect to our vitality and to the Divine.

I am watching several people I love experience a sense of dissolution in their lives. Illusions are stripped away and they are confronted by resurgent realities that they had once been able to escape. There is solace to be found in the belief that this too shall pass, that God offers nothing more than one can bear, and that it is only possible to be truly alive when all of the veils that lay between you and the true presence have been ripped away. And yet, the desire to just keep driving away from all the problems is so strong and the need to ask “why” is so persistent. It is so hard not to shiver in the brutal winds of our fate as the bitter chill of November settles into our bones.

To stand as naked as the trees is to be living in direct contact with nature, and though it may threaten to turn you to coldest stone, it is nothing more than the Earth herself is going through at these moments. Cold comfort, that, but perhaps it is just the Universe’s way of reminding us we are alive. She cannot wake us with the calls of birds and the warmth of a July sun, but she can remind us that she is always there with us by allowing us to feel the rattling of her bare branches and her sorrow of another summer passed.

The world will keep turning, the secrets will be uncovered, and the globe will tilt back to the sun again so that light may return. We just need to find the faith to witness its sweet, slow progression.


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