Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core…
— John Keats, To Autumn
As the season of Samhain fades with the waning light of the Moon, we now descend into the deepest nights of the year. The returning spark of Yule is still six weeks away. Until then, the dark stretches and lengthens over all, in the Northern Hemisphere.
This past weekend, Daylight Savings Time ended in most of the U.S. – later than in previous years, but inexorable just the same. Now each of us must readjust our inner clock to the one imposed upon us by mandate.
What time is it?
Commerce tells us that we are now in the Yuletide season. Do you remember when preparations for Christmas waited until after Thanksgiving? Not any more. Halloween had not even passed when many stores in my area were already decorating for Christmas. The plastic pumpkins were side by side with the plastic wreaths.
Last week, I noticed that one of the popular Christmas tree lots was already setting up shop. Who in their right mind would buy a cut tree before the end of October?
The pressure is intensifying for us to speed ahead into the next thing, especially if that thing makes money. Santa Claus is coming to your local mall the week after Election Day. Watch and see – before the New Year’s confetti is swept up, the push will be on for you to start shopping for Valentine’s Day.
Yet despite these artificial tinkerings and pressures, it seems urgent and important for us to stay connected with our own deep sense of timing and rhythm. I don’t believe we can turn back the clock, but I do believe that, with magic, imagination, and an awareness of who we really are, we can slow it down.
We can and must find our own natural pace once more. It is my belief that if we don’t, this forced march threatens something very precious.
So I hope that you’ll join me in the coming days, as we work with the magic of time and the energy of Autumn. Let us not allow Autumn to be snatched away from us by those who would hurtle us straight into the consumer orgy ahead.