The world is dying. Nothing in nature lasts. The fall is a reminder of our mortality, our frailty. That is why I love this time of year. I have an autumn soul, the sensible pragmatism of an old soul. Just like the crone of legend, this time of year speaks to those ancient memories that I carry in my blood. I have never had the airy spring soul of the maiden or the fiery passion of the summer mother. There is beauty too in knowing how to survive in the dying months. The crone is consulted for Wisdom, age, and experience. I have the whispered cures within me, the secrets in the crunchy autumn leaves that I break beneath my boots like little insect bones.
I go to graveyards not to dance but to remember. To feel the cold stone beneath my fingertips as a reminder that I too will someday sleep amidst damp, cold earth and worm-laced tunnels. There is something calming in those thoughts. Even ghosts need company. It is a lonely forever when you are forgotten, names eroded from your tombstone markers. I will remember everyone who has ever passed, even if I have never met them. It is a prayer for all, when I float through the rows of stone tombs and pay respect to the dead. To say I am here and I am still living, and not to fear for you will never be alone.
We pay homage to the god of death, feed his image with Halloween. He will pass you by, little children, if you only pretend that you are like them. The death masks must convince Hades, lest he come for your soul in the night, on this night when the veil is thinnest. These stories make us shiver, as we lock our doors and tend our fires. You cannot forget those fears, so deep they run in your blood. I carry that fear triumphantly and sing of Hades’ glory. For no light can shine without a darkness to surround it.
So surround me, autumn, and take my warmth. I will join the tombstones all in a row. But for now let me breathe in the sharp frigid air and give in return clouds of my breath so that you may know that I am alive and not yet ready to join the solemn procession of the forgotten.