Autumn Turning

Sep 12, 2007
I woke up this morning with the most unbelievably genius idea for a post. It had nothing to do with either of the things I had been meaning to post about, but I didn't care, because it was genius. Now, of course, I can't remember what it was...

Not that it really matters, because it's Fall, guys. I had been thinking it was fall since the floods that swept through southern Wisconsin in August, lowering the temperatures and filling water-type people like me with a reckless glee, but that's just because I had forgotten what Fall feels like. On Monday it rained again, but it was cold and drizzly instead of cooling and heavy, and there was no lightning, just the steady sound of rain on the windows all day long. Fall, finally.

Every time a real seasonal change comes around, it feels like it's been centuries since it happened last and it feels like every other time it's ever happened. I had been looking forward to Fall, but I'd forgotten the change in the smell of the air, the way the trees shake in the wind like they're trying to make themselves change color faster, the way the lakes start spreading out their color palate, too. (Last night on the way home from work Mendota was black, really black, with little whitecaps. Against the bright green grass and the brilliant blue sky it was startling to look at.)

And Fall always makes me think of being a little kid going back to school again. The most vivid Fall memory I have is of walking home from school one day -- I must have been quite young, because I didn't walk that way past about the fourth grade -- and as I neared home, found my mother and my grandmother up on ladders, painting the side of the house. We had a big, beautiful Victorian home, up on a hill, that just had too much wood siding for my dad to justify paying anyone else to do it, so we did it, every year or two. I scraped old paint off everything I could reach and painted the porch and the lower windows, and the grownups got up on ladders and did the upper stories. I don't know why this stuck in my head; I think it might have been one of the first times I realized that grownups had lives of their own that did not involve catering to my needs all the time. I definitely remember they were having the time of their lives.

Last weekend I went out to the Madison Area Pagan Pride Day (hour and fifteen minutes by bus, someone has got to do something about that). I am glad I went -- which doesn't sound like a glowing recommendation, does it? Well, I am. I am, you see, not a social person. I've known this most of my life, but it's only throwing myself into social situations that shove it into the forefront of my brain. I don't crave the company of others (excepting my very few close friends). I don't enjoy crowds. It takes me much longer than a day-long festival to feel comfortable enough with a group of people to really be myself.

I've kept saying that I want to find a coven, but it occurred to me while I was sitting in the last workshop of the day that maybe I just want to see if I'm solitary by nature instead of just by necessity. I've never had a chance to have a coven, and I don't honestly know if it would be a good idea. I suppose the only way to find out is to try; I did meet one group I might contact and another person who's trying to start a group based on campus. I'm nervous, though, about introducing myself to a group with the knowledge that chances are good I'll be leaving it soon.

But aside from a slightly melancholy introspection that always seems to hit me in the late afternoon of a busy day, the festival itself was terrific. I made it in time for the opening ritual (I have never seen anyone with more ridiculous energy than Selena Fox, my gods) and sat through an elders panel that was interesting not so much for what was said as for what wasn't (or maybe I just enjoy watching other people watch someone talk -- after all, eight witches couldn't all be expected to agree, could they?). Lots of music, lots of talk, and the joy of being amongst like-minded people. I am glad I went. I'm also glad it happens once a year.


Sep 2, 2007
Cosette really needs to stop posting my posts before I get a chance to. Last week she posted on Beliefs and Practices, cutting off at the knees a half-formed post I'd been thinking about on Doing versus Being, and today it's the joy of Autumn, which I too have been feeling rather ridiculously due to the freezing-cold air conditioning at work.

Like she says, even though Autumn is the winding-down part of the year, there is something about September that I find hugely inspiring in a much more new-beginnings-type way. I've always blamed it on all those years of going back to school (yes, I am one of those freakish kids who loved going back to school at the end of the summer). The Autumn bug hit me last week, just as the sun broke out after our week of truly ridiculous flooding and all the sudden the weather was amazing. (Alas, the rest of the universe does not love Samhain as much as I do and my craving for candy corn has yet gone unsated.)

It's always vaguely irritated me that no matter how many urban or modern Pagan books I read, I've never found an actually thought-out reinterpretation of the Wheel of the Year that does not assume that you're pulling in three crops every fall. (I tend to forget about Mabon for precisely this reason...) Surely there's a way to work in that September schoolgoing thing as well; it's something nearly everyone has nowadays, after all, and I for one feel you can never have too many New Beginning-type markers in your life.