Monday, August 01, 2005

Journeys Of Faith: Thoughts on Lughnassadh

The green of spring is fading. In the suburbs it is artificially maintained by sprinklers, fertilizers and diligent gardening. However, any significant amount of driving takes me past formerly green fields which I have seen start to yellow. For some folks this is a sad thing to see, the period of growth is over and they sense the dry heat ahead, that endless blazing sun that currently sits over us in the northern hemisphere.

Although it is still subtle and almost unnoticeable the daylight has begun to shrink and nightime is coming earlier and earlier. Down here in Texas you hardly notice it; rather it is the omnipresent heat that you are aware of. But as we walk the dogs and the baby we notice we are seeing more and more of the beautiful multicolored sunsets. Sadly, some of the beauty and color comes from the fact that light is being broadcast through pollutants that enhance the color.

In the extended metaphor of my life, I am probably in my August now; leaving my prime and heading towards the fall of my life. That is no bad thing; for I have a secret. Although I loved my spring and had many good times there were also bad and difficult times. The secret is to learn from those things so that the road ahead is easier.

Now is the time of my life when I begin to see the harvest; the results of the seeds I planted in my youth and over the course of my entry into adulthood. As an alcoholic, I have not done the best job of being consistent with my sowing. I am fortunate for I have a wife who was and I have friends in sobriety who have helped me get a good start on what is needed for me to catch up to where I should be.

My secret, as I head into this fall and the autumn of my life itself is this: I love the autumn. Where others embrace the spring, the greenery and the blossoms and turn away from the shorter days and cooler temperatures I do the opposite. I never thought about it much in depth, but I now suspect that being a child with pretty severe allergies may play a role in this. Also, for me the heat has never been enjoyable it is always oppressive. But autumn meant blessed relief from all the the above. So August meant another month and a half of cooking and then months of release from the oven. I relish the autumn like a treat.

There is another thing; autumn holds my favorite holiday and holy day: Halloween, which I celebrate as Samhain. Halloween is the only holiday where your imagination is given free reign; where you are encouraged to be creative and come up with a costume. Even the decorations allow for greater leeway than other holidays; you can be as cutesy as you like or you may be absolutely grim. It is your choice. The colors of autumn are a further reward. In Colorado you can drive in the mountains and see amongst the dark green evergreen pines splashes of golden color as the aspen leaves change. In some places the mountians appear covered in sparkling gold.

This Lughnassadh I celebrate my friends and family; especially my baby daughter Anwen and my wife Laura. I give thanks for the harvest of abundances and grace that gave me the resources to afford surgery when I needed it and to replace the air conditioner that died. The Goddess has been very, very generous to me; I am sober today and that is more than I could do on my own resources. I am a lucky, blessed man. Soon I will walk in the woods as the leaves fall to the ground and the breeze dances through the trees. I cannot wait!

You are invited to join me in a dance to the Wheel of the Year; may it always turn. May your harvests this year be abundant. May you and your family be blessed.

  • All images courtesy of

  • Message for NYpagan Chick: If you are ever willing, I would love to hear about your journey of faith.