Friday, 31 October 2014

Day 834: Samhain

Did you know that Halloween originally comes from Ireland, from the ancient Pagan festival 'Samhain', celebrating summer's end and the start of the new Celtic year? 
During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes to honor the dead who were allowed to rise from the Otherworld on this one night of the year. Some of these spirits were to be respected and some were to be feared. The costumes were both an honor and a disguise.  The mystical character of the season has now materialized into our modern day 'spooky' celebrations, but still lingers in certain regards.


Samhain - Annie Finch

In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother's mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
"Carry me." She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.

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