September and October are two very magical months. The change from summer to fall can be seen everywhere even here in the low desert. I’m sure the same goes for the Southern Hemisphere too in the equivalent months. About a month before the equinox the light changes. It becomes slightly warmer and less harsh. I think anyone who spends a significant amount of time outside, either observing weather, gardening, looking at the stars, or similar will notice this. As a photographer I always look for light. I think artists see the change in light temperature the easiest.
I’ve written about celebrating fall many times before. This year I stepped up my game and added a fall countdown calendar like we have for spring and winter and summer. I find this helps us mark the season a little more formally, with various activities and crafts leading up to the day of the equinox. By making a point to focus on the change of seasons I find my children are more connected to the passing of time and how nature is affected by it.
This year I’ve decided to focus on the idea of Samhain (Sow-ween) for our October celebrations. We’ve already added all the earth celebrations, why not this one too? The focus behind this celtic holiday was honoring the dead and the thinning of the veils between the fairy world and ours. Here is the catch though, it’s not about being terrified of the dead, being scared or blood and monsters. It was actually the New Year’s celebration for the Celts, the cycle of death and rebirth. I like this more gentle version that includes honoring the dead and feeling comfortable with death rather than the scary version that terrifies children (and adults). So we will try it this year with dinner and some treats. There will of course still be costumes and a party with friends but not so much emphasis on the scary part. Maybe it’s because the real world is scary enough right now I don’t need to pretend that there are monsters out there.
Happy Fall Equinox everyone!