I love this time of year, this season sings to me more than any other, even louder than the hot rush of Spring. I think it must be the change in the sky. One day the sky is the clear pure blue of summer and then without warning its just different and autumn is HERE. Exciting. Sad. Now. From Mabon to Yule, my favorite turning of the wheel.
Maybe its the sunflowers that make this time my favorite. A week ago Robin and I rode on the ditch bank and picked sunflowers and asters, this week they are gone. Yiska’s coat is already showing signs of growing thicker in the cooler nights and I pulled on my long sleeve flannel last night after the sun went down and was grateful for its cozy warmth against the new autumn chill. We need to have a blanket on the bed at night now but refuse to close the windows. Autumn.
The tomatoes are getting sleepy, ready to be put to bed, and the last of the late summer corn is tasseling, but the green beans wont let go. One more harvest they say, and then again one more. And wait. We will flower for you one more time again. The jars filled with plenty line the pantry and look like jewels, the bright orange of nectarine, the deep purple of plums. Too pretty to eat yet, I’ll save them for the dark of winter, and when it seems summer never was I’ll open a jar and it will burst forth like a genie.
Soon we will hoop and holler dance and sing in celebration of our withy witchy selves at a ball only witches will attend. We will be sexy and provocative, silly and scary, beautiful and eerie. We will be all witch. Way. To this time of plenty.
When the cottonwoods are their brightest the veil will thin and we’ll begin to reach out to loved ones who have already crossed over as they wait just around the corner of our vision, seeking us as we do them. We’ll invite them to come again to the land of the living to dine with us in their honor, to share one more drink with us, to sit for a few quiet moments in meditation and remembrance with us before continuing their spiraling dance down into the afterworld. This year there are many beloved to call and remember.
In the light of day under the turquoise autumn sky we will paint our faces like our dead, we will put golden flowers in our hair and beat our drums and celebrate our dead, their lives, and our own. We will dance the samba until our legs fall off and we’ll pick them up and dance on. We will sleep the sleep of the dead that night, blankets drawn tight about us, lovers drawn even closer.
The trees will drop their leaves and the days will get shorter. The sky will change again and winter will begin to nip at autumns heels greedy for its own time. We will sit down with friends and family around a table full to overflowing with this years work and celebrate one last time this years harvest before we go within.
Inevitably Yule will come, winter will reign and the strength of the Oak King will give way to the dark of the Holly King. All will be quite and at rest. And we will celebrate this time too. But not today. Today we dance for autumn.