Today marks the Celtic festival of Samhain, or Halloween as it has been rebranded for the modern age. It marks the end of the harvests and the beginning of the long night of winter.
It is said that for our Celtic ancestors, all things began in darkness, with a time of dreaming and gestation, and as such, Samhain marked the beginning of the New Year, just as dusk heralded the start of a new day.
In this time and place we see death as a finality that comes at the end of life. A nothing, a void, an inevitable stopping. But what if we were to shift our vantage point a little, step to the side and see as our ancestors saw, that death is also that which precedes life. It just depends at what point on the wheel you want to hop on.
Sitting in nature at the time of year it is easy to see this time of darkness and dying as the start of something new and quietly wonderful. Plants and trees shed their seed to be blanketed by fallen leaves, a soft slow beginning. So much has happened unnoticed, long before the first shoots of spring.
Observing the natural world we see how life and death each contain the seed of the other.
Samhain is also the time to honour the ancestors. Those who traveled their journey whilst we were still snug in the Earth, sleeping, sending down our strong roots and dreaming of warmer days to come.