He had many strange sights to keep him cheerful or to make him sad. I asked him had he ever seen the faeries, and got the reply, ‘Am I not annoyed with them?’ I asked too if he had ever seen the banshee. ‘I have seen it,’ he said, ‘down there by the water, batting the river with its hands.’
~ W. B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore
A few nights ago, in the wee hours that fall sometime in the middle of sleep, the wind howled and screeched like a banshee. Only once. It was a chilling kind of sound and my first thought after it startled me awake was, “Who died?” The immediate answer was, “Everyone.” There is some truth to that. It happens to everyone, every being. We all return, wherever that returning leads.
Too much myth and folklore for me, perhaps. But it was an eerie sound and so unusual that the wind would screech once and then settle back to night-silence. This morning it felt more like a signal. We had our first hard frost over the weekend and it shows in the gardens. Gale force winds are here today, ripping the leaves from the trees. Winter is on the way.
During my early morning walk I felt this profound gratitude for the autumn I was privileged to witness this year. A thought that came up and I wanted to push away was that maybe Mother Earth/Nature was showing us what we will be losing if we continue on the path we are currently on. Then again, perhaps it was just another lovely autumn, a blaze of glory as the season moves past the mid-point and closer to winter.
A reminder: the people in power don’t need conferences, treaties or agreements to start taking real climate action. They can start today. When enough people come together then change will come and we can achieve almost anything. So instead of looking for hope – start creating it.
~ Greta Thunberg
In Irish and Scottish mythology, the Cailleach is the divine hag, the Old Woman of the World, the creator-goddess of the land. Gaelic mythology has no story which specifically explains the creation of the universe, but the old stories of the Cailleach explain the formation of the land. She is the geotectonic power of the land itself, who gives shape to the Earth throughout all its ages. Stories tell of how she constructed enormous mounds, megaliths, and towers in a single night. Like the natural world over which she presides, she renews herself constantly: each year in spring, or every hundred years, by bathing in a certain body of water, depending on the story.
… She is a wilderness spirit who protects wild animals; she is a seasonal deity too, the elemental power of storms and of winter.
~ Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted
The Cailleach came to mind with the keening of the wind. That is no surprise. I’ve been hearing about her in the Mandala Magic course and she is present in the book I’m currently reading, Sharon Blackie’s If Women Rose Rooted. I also thought about the Cailleach as we watched a movie over the weekend: Bless Me, Ultima. Have you seen it? After watching it I thought that I would like to be able to age in such a way as to have some kind of wisdom to impart. The chapter I’m currently reading in Sharon Blackie’s book is about elderhood and the wisdom we can acquire if we do the work we need to do and allow ourselves to mature. I think I’m in agreement with Stephen Jenkinson when it comes to our current culture. We have a lot of old people but very few elders.
The Mandala Magic: Alignment program is coming to an end. Or did come to an end at Samhain. I have to work on the last two modules and I’ll have finished it. Julie will be opening registration for the next round sometime this month. In case you might be interested or at least want to check it out, her website is here and the Mandala Magic information is here. I highly recommend it, especially if you have an interest in mandalas or art journaling. I learned a lot about both throughout the Wheel of the Year we just completed. I also learned a great deal about myself.
I reckon that’s enough from me on this beautiful, blustery fall day. Thank you so much for dropping by and going on another meander with me. Let’s meet out at the dock for sunset this evening. The view is better from the Point but I’ve been enjoying the sunsets from the dock lately. Today’s sunset is scheduled for 4:50 PM. I usually go about twenty minutes early and stay about five or ten minutes after. The trees block the view of the actual sunset but if there is color to be seen, it usually rises above and into the clouds. It’s chilly and windy. Layers, hat, and gloves are probably a good idea.
Please be safe and be well.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,911) The many sounds and songs of the wind. 1,912) Learning to taste the light. 1,913) A hike in Pocomoke River State Park over the weekend, exploring trails we’ve never hiked before. 1,914) Finding beaver dams and swamp and all sorts of things on our hike. 1,915) Freshly baked bread and soup for supper on a chilly evening.