Do you have a favorite time of year? Some revel in the first buds of Spring or the long, hot days of summer. I have always been partial to Fall. As a child (and this may seem strange to you) I always looked forward to the start of the new school year. Back then most schools started in September after Labor Day. Growing up in the Eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado the days were cool and nippy, leaves were changing, and on some mornings you could feel winter in the air. I loved those mornings. Maybe that's why I associate new beginnings with Fall and why I look forward to September every year.
I know that some see leafless trees, their branches like skeleton fingers pointing skyward, as the dying of nature. I see it as the time of slumber, the time of deep dreams, before rebirth. I find beauty the Fall and beauty in death. I find excitement in Fall and the possibilities that it brings.
The path of the modern Druid is all about building connections and relationships with each other and with the world. As we learn to connect with nature we become one with the ebb and flow of the seasons and the weather, with the rhythm of nature.
Today, for example, we have 30 mile per hour winds blowing from the Northwest and I can feel already that tonight will be cold. Leaves were dancing on the street as I walked my son to his bus stop at 7:00 a.m. He is in middle school and doesn't need the companionship or supervision but I enjoy the walk and our conversation (connection and relationship building time). I pulled the collar of my jacket up against the wind after he left on the bus. As I crossed the street to head back home I stuck my arms out and started to spin around with the leaves . . . that is until I noticed a parent driving his son to the grade school down the street. He had to stop, I was sort of in the way, and gave this old man a quizzical look. I smiled and waved to him as I moved across the street into a yard where I could continue my leaf dance. I felt joyously connect to the wind, to the leaves, to the cold bearing down from the North and to my son as he drove away in the school bus.
As modern Druids our connections and our relationships cause us to take responsibility for ourselves and others. Don't constrain "others" in your mind to include only humans. Others should include all beings and the earth too is alive and is one of the many others. As we do that we strive to gain a greater understanding of our place in the Community of the All and what we are doing (and should be doing) in this life. We are all ultimately alone, especially in death, but we are never isolated. The others are always there.
I'm Dr. Dave, an eclectic shaman. I lived and worked in Bolivia and Peru for over six years, where I and was trained by Andean Shamans, and today practice eclectic shamanism.