Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy New Year

No, this is not a misprint.

Yes, I really mean Happy New Year!

Y'see, yesterday (31 October) was Samhain. It's pronounced SA-when, or SOW-en. And no, I can't help that you pronounce it differently than it looks. That's what happens with Gaelic.

For pagans, Samhain is the third and last harvest festival of the year. The last of the crops is gathered. Food animals are slaughtered and their meat preserved for the winter's storage. Final preparations for the coming cold months are made. And the ancestors are honored.

Ancestors are usually defined as "those who have gone before." I like to skip the mysteriousness of that particular phrase, which borders on the *shudder* PC. Simply stated, ancestors are the dead, whether or not they were related to you by blood.

At this time of the year, it is said, the veil that separates the worlds of the living and the dead grows thin. It is easiest for the inhabitants of the two worlds to cross over and visit each other. Samhain is often celebrated with a Dumb Supper, to which the ancestors are invited, especially the ones who have died during the previous year. The meal is prepared, and an extra setting is laid. Eating is done in total silence, in case the ancestors wish to speak.

In case you're wondering, this is NOT a Hallowe'en thing! Trick-or-treating is for kids. Samhain is for adults only, in my house.

This year was particularly special for me. My mother died on 3 October this year. Last night, I got to have supper with her one last time.

Happy New Year, Mom. My love to you, always.


Blogger DazzlinDino said...

My friend, you have my utmost condolences, you and yours can be proud of the woman she was judging by the child of hers I know, she did a damn good job.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005 8:42:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Thank you, Dino. She was an amazing woman, and one of these days I'll write a piece on her. Or maybe several pieces. Some of the things she did...who she was...the people she "adopted" into her life (including almost all the residents of her apartment building, and almost, it seemed, the entire fleet of transit drivers, for whom she baked endless batches of cookies!)...

I have to give it some time, though. I'm still at the point where I want to call her with the latest news, or a joke I know she'll like! She didn't like the thought of anyone going into mourning over her, but I can't help missing her being just a phone call away.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 6:43:00 AM  

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