Reflecting on this seasonal ending, so close that I hold it carefully in the crook of my arm, tending it, willing it to remain, constant and steadfast. My friend E., who is from eastern Washington state, told me that when he was a little boy, he took the train, alone, to the East Coast to visit relatives. It was summer, and his strongest memory of the trip was that he saw fireflies for the very first time (fireflies are perhaps the one thing in the natural world I miss most when I live out west). He was so enchanted that he, like most children do, collected as many as he could in an empty jelly jar, holes poked carefully in the lid. He planned to release them in his own natural environment, so that each summer he would have fireflies all through the summertime. But the natural world is good about knowing what belongs and what doesn’t. And the fireflies did not survive the several-day journey. I believe he still hasn’t fully recovered from that loss. Nor will I, from the loss of this season of warmth. However temporary.
Reflecting on metaphorical endings. I was reminded recently that in many belief systems, September is considered a beginning, a new year to replace the old. A time when we are asked to reconsider our lives and Selves, to consider what belongs and what no longer fits. In January, the more familiar and traditional beginning, both our spirits and the world are exhausted, spent, filled with darkness and cold. How much more lovely and practical then, to make changes and revisions when there is still some lingering strength, some hint of Light.
Today, a murmured prayer to the Goddess of That Which Is No Longer Useful. to make the right choices.