Orange and black. Pumpkins and candles. The dead and the living. Sunset and sunrise, beginning and ending…
These images come to my mind at every Samhain – Witches’ New Year, Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or any other festival one might celebrate.
For me, it’s Samhain, and has been Samhain for some years even though observing Sabbats is all I do.
A year’s end is a lot more pleasant to observe when there is still some sunlight left, the trees not yet completely bare, the air only nipping lightly at exposed necks and hands and faces. A school week’s over, I have a steaming cup of tea beside me with my feet propped up on a heater because it gets a bit chilly in the apartment.
There’s some hours of sunlight left for me to reflect on the past twelve months with calm and leisure that I did not possess – or did not allow myself to possess – a year ago.
There are so many big changes on the one hand and small, barely visible ones on the other. Isn’t that always so? People notice the outward change and tell us on our birthdays how much we have grown or how much we have matured or even how much older we look (or “You don’t look any older than last year!” if the person’s polite). They remark on our new life situations – heartmates, family, homes, jobs, friends, cities, countries, and so on.
I could do that. I could start listing things that are visibly different compared to a year ago. I could, but I won’t. Instead, I want to use this one quiet afternoon, this opportunity to chronicle the invisible changes, the ones that no one will notice unless I tell them.
The newly found solitude has given me the chance to let me get used to myself. And as more time passes, I find myself enjoying this aloneness. It’s a bit like being in a trance. There’s no need to say anything, to do anything. In a way I can be purely selfish and indulge my every whim. I admit to trying to distract myself from this huge just-being-there-ness with the help of my electronic devices and all the entertainment they have to offer. The only times I buckle down for sure and be truly alone with my thoughts are on the Sabbats. I should do this observing-my-life-with-tranquility more often. Let’s make it my first resolution for the new year. Because sometimes you have to be very still and quiet to be able to listen to your own needs. Your body’s need for food, sleep, cleanness. Your soul’s need for company, life’s beauty, goodness. Your intellect’s need for stimulation and relaxation. Sometimes you need rest, sometimes you need a kick in the butt. Sometimes you need to cry and sometimes to laugh. Sometimes the past will give you strength, sometimes you have to look for the future. And you have to mind the present.
I have known for some time that I don’t like lying and that I really suck at lying. But I don’t have any problems skirting around the truth or giving evasive answers, I found out. I also can’t fake facial expressions to save social situations – I don’t have problem laughing out loud or crying my eyes out if they are displaying my genuine emotions. Emotions are so damn hard to fake. It was interesting to find out – but duh, it makes sense – that what my body wants is not necessarily what it needs, and what my brain wants may not necessarily be what it needs. But there’s this pressure on my chest, this prickling of senses that tells me what my conscience is feeling. It’s actually my conscience and my body and heart put together. Like, one slice of pie is okay, but not three. Following the pattern of thought, I can only affirm that too much of a good thing can still be bad.
I think there’s a ring of truth in the saying that you just have to be ready to grab the opportunities that come (or sometimes fly) by. You may not have to be chasing after those opportunities, but you have to be able to recognize them as such and go for them with all your might. Usually I rely on this urgent, nervous feelings I get about some things. Going after them terrifies the heck out of me but I am half-compelled to do it anyway. If I don’t, regret keeps churning up until I do it, so that the end result is mostly same.
Doing what’s right is hard, but figuring out what is right can be sometimes even more difficult. I want to develop a rational, objective intellect to keep my instincts in check because blind faith usually has horrible consequences.
I’ll take a deep breath to be grateful for life and to vow to be good.