By Will Baker
Here in Vermont a gentle, chilly rain is falling in the valleys while snow continues to accumulate in the mountains. As I pen these lines Halloween is upon us. The harvest is over and done with and the fields have been turned. Hunters have taken to the woodland and folks around the small village I call home are busy at work preparing for winter, propelled by the understanding that snow is creeping down the hillsides and will soon blanket the valley until Springtime.
But let the rain fall. Let it baptize us all against the dwindling light. Let it ordain us to perform the rituals of winter when we turn inside unto ourselves to decide if we are creatures of the night or day. This time of year here, is about giving up. We give up the warmth for unrelenting cold and we trade daytime for long winter nights, when the stars seem to shine bolder in the frosty air and when we are sometimes treated to the Northern Lights as recompense for our loss.
We may feel abandoned. Neglected by the songbirds that have flown away, and Forsaken by our dreams, which were perhaps cobbled together in winters past, plans that failed to come to fruition during the fair weather now departed. And to be sure we feel restless. Although it seems as if we would sometimes like to deny that we are part and parcel to the natural world, that we are in no way related to the beasts about us and the sky that moves, we can not do so. Oh yes we can behave as if this were so, but wrapping ourselves in plastic does not change our reality it merely effects it.
As for me I shall light a heathen fire and dance. And I will offer up the action as a ransom for our dreams. This feeble demonstration of light in the face of impending darkness will have to serve. For what more can we do? If we steel ourselves against the cold and night will we not diminish ourselves to some degree? No, it seems to me that the far better course is to embrace this fate for there is Spring.