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Happy Halloween, Harvest, and Newness

Photo by Ysabel de la Rosa
Even as I see flashing orange orbs in neighbors' yards, greet the tiny pirate walking down my street, and hear a little girl scream when greeted by a gory mask behind a trick-or-treat door--all fun--I am more inclined to lean toward the ancient tradition of Samhain. You can read a lot about it from many sources, but, put very simply, the Celtic festival celebrated the harvest and formed a kind of new year celebration for those who participated in it. 


What I like about this tradition (and like about the Jewish new year, as well) is the earth connection to harvest time. In the northern hemisphere, this is a time of fruition, of gathering, of light becoming gentler and temperatures becoming cooler--not yet bitter. Somehow, taking harvest time as a time to begin a new year's cycle has much more appeal for me than our dead-of-winter January 1st date. This time of year feels to me more natural,  celebratory, and sensibly organic. 


Soon, we move from this time into Thanksgiving, another celebration that can remind us of all that is "begotten, not made." And for those many begotten blessings, it's always a good time to be glad and grateful, call the day whatever you like.

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