Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today is the beginning of what Sam Portaro refers to as the Autumn Triduum.  These three days are set aside for a feast time which reflects the Spring Triduum from Maundy Thursday evening service through the Feast of the Resurrection.  The Spring Triduum is about new life...the Autumn is about remembering the dead.  Tonight the goulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night will invade our spaces.  It is an ancient practice to keep away the evil spirits that may walk this earth at this thin time.  Tomorrow we remember the Saints, holy women and holy men who have shown us Christ in one another, and then on  Friday we redundently remember the souls of the faithful departed who are also saints.

The ancestors called this feast Samhain (pronounced Sowan).  They lit fires and moved into a silent reflection on mortality.  The lush fruitful garden has been put to bed, we are hopefully saying farewell to ticks, fleas, stinkbugs, and ladybugs, and regretfully saying farewell to geese and remembering the hummingbirds who have already found warmer places to winter over.

I silently sit by my fire and give thanks for those who have contributed to its making.  For Missi who contributed the kindling, for Ben who contibuted the tinder (old WSJs), for the Goochland Rotary club who sells firewood to fund their community outreach, for my dh Bob who split the wood.  I give thanks to God for the trees that are our so very renewable resource, and for deliverance from the storm.

Samhain Fire

Silence descends
a cloak warming and wrapping
the inner soul's self

Here are three days
of seeking the heart's desire
and hearth's fire
burning offerings of past pain.

I offer my self
cleansed on an altar of fire
to face the cold silent season
with warmth and joy.

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