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.


TurtleHeart said...

I think I am one of those people who is solitary by nature, although if I found the right group of people, I wouldn't mind trying the coven experience. The key would be finding the right kind of people. I'm pretty picky, which is part of the reason why I think I'm solitary by nature.

Anti-thesisofreason said...

I just recently left a coven I just don't have time at this point in my life to cater to the requirements of a group like that.
However, I learned long ago that the politics that are involved in a group like a coven can be a drain on why you joined in the first place.
I've belonged to large non-Pagan groups in the past that got caught up in power struggles and clicks within the group. I saw this happening in the coven I recently left and didn't like what I saw. So now I'm solitary.
The one positive thing I got out of the coven was the regular practice and ritual that was involved when we met twice a month and sometimes more.

Jenavira said...

(Thanks for the comments, guys, sorry I've been so behind)

Turtle -- that's pretty much how I feel about the situation. It's certainly how I make friends: there are a very few people I get along really, really well with, and everyone else is welcome to leave me alone and I'll be happy. :) I assume finding a coven would work the same way, but with even fewer people to start with...

anti-thesis -- Yep, the politics scare me quite a bit. They've scared me out of big groups before and that's *not* what I want a religious experience to be like, but I hold out some hope...not a lot, admittedly.