It is October now, and Fall has set in around these parts. The rain and winds have returned and the falling leaves and needles frustrate even the most patient of us cleaners. The darkness lasts a little longer each morning and comes a little sooner each night. The life we lived so much of outside returns to the confines of a cozy fire in the fireplace and blanket throws around the legs and feet. With our furry family members resting for hours on end, a reminder that a change of pace as well comes with this time of year.
For some it is the misery of those forced to play inside days and nights that lead into weeks and months. A flurry of shopping and a big pop of the champagne bottle and it is all over once again except the waiting for the warmth to return. For others a time to get things done, where the time is only found at this time of year, the kids off to school the spouse away as well. The time for plans and of crunching, make those numbers in our wallets work out for this next big push, a mini list of resolutions made to get you through the cold Winter soon to arrive. That part is still right there, as idyllic as the rolling of life itself, in this… my neighborhood, my city, my country.
There is something more this time around, another layer to the pile that we normally wade through. Thoughts of the larger picture puncture our private existences all too much this go around. There is a fear and a sense of insecurity that has taken the country’s hand and is walking it through the frigid air this fall. With it a voice that is also ominous in its tone when it says that Winter is coming. The mistrust, the un-sowing of goodwill, the fear and anger and the bewilderment and absurd. I will not use hate, because there is not enough intelligence involved to arrive at that end, but there are a lot of folks flipping the bird and feeling good about it.
As I was walking to a friends place, I passed a black woman who was letting her tiny dog run off leash on a grassy area. It charged me like it was going to do something, like all Chihuahua’s do. I put my hand down open for it to smell it, and that’s when she said in a confident voice, “She will bite you!” Without looking up at the owner I replied to the dog, “Good! You just bite then! There are a bunch of us Crackers I wanna bit right now too!” With that unfiltered remark the woman lost it and I was rewarded with the best laugh I have heard in a long time. I stood and kept walking and just said, “Have a nice day.” As I passed going on to my friends place. In that exchange was a little bit of that layer, that very not politically correct manner which has been popularized by this administration, but is genetic in myself.
There is a thickness to the air that comes not from Mother Nature but our own. It is a profanity of fear and a sickness that we allow to spread. A small and virulent dis-ease eating away at our daily lives slowly but surely. There is talk from all corners of how much we can take before we must and absolutely have to go to the Emergency Room. Even that part is rife with a putrid goo in the air as well, because we lament if we would even get in? The congregations of race and religion and various interests will cocoon up even tighter, the shopping will be done online as not to offend sensibilities. Will there be any Mad Hatters there? Does this business donate to this side or that? “What the heck is that supposed to mean?” Will be the mantra of Thanksgiving and there will be joyous celebrations by most if we can even make it to the December holidays. This is also the time rife for resentments, misinformation and mistrust sown even deeper with the cocooning of our collective tribes. The stories spread around the campfire that never ended the way they started getting rocketed through the interwebs to divide more than unite. It will be a time of lamentation and indignation, and it will be a gloomy sludge that we travel through if we allow it.
Just like anything else, folks have to know what is happening out there in the real world. As people we often look for these things to tell us how our conditions are. Just knowing that these other factors are eating away at all of us slowly but surely, sometimes faster for others. They won’t know what to do with it when they find it sending them to the ER with an Ulcer, or metastasized as an argument ending a marriage or friendship. These other gloomy outbursts of the season will leave many unaware and frightened, pissed off and more. I looked at that friend that I visited and told him his aura looks like a twelve string guitar it is so tight. We are arguing now about that whole thing, who am I to say that?… Oh yeah, I see the extra layers that people have to wear when they leave their homes these days, when they leave their comfortable areas of life. It isn’t a layer of clothes, or an extra jacket, or even more self protection. It is a emotional granite they well up from the biles of their existence just to get through the long walk home. A layer that if you get through, you will have wished you hadn’t. The skin not thickening, just simply turning into something less than human, less than living.
With the cryptic words of men itching for war and power, riches and grasp, on the backs of the people I see each day, the Fall has come; The icy winds of Winter too soon will too. Our very wellness may come by a story shared over a warm fire, the breaking of some Granite, the chances we are afforded to be the change as well as encourage it. This may be the time of year when the clouds grow darker and we close our windows to the chill of the Autumn air. As a people, at this time and pinnacle of change we are enduring, we cannot allow ourselves to become as dark as those clouds or as closed as the windows. In doing so, the warmth we know is there, and the growing, the truths that we lay down on our tables to feast upon are wasted on the rot of dis-ease and ill will.
One reason the Pagans of ancient times brought tree boughs into their homes during the Winter is to remind them that the Sun will come again. I cannot think of a more important time in our History to bring in those figurative boughs, the warmth and truth we have stockpiled up to now into our collective thinking. This is not Nature’s wrath but one of our own, and making it through this literal and figurative sub-zero condition that is upon us will take some time, and some work to keep warm at all.