slowly towards winter

Whether you judge by astronomical or meteorological criteria, for a few more days at least, it is still autumn. For me, this autumn seems to have been going on for a long time.

I remember snapping this picture, and thinking how well it summed up the ideas of slowing down and taking things gently that are associated with the season.

elderly couple walking in autumnal scenery

But in fact that was only the end of September – just a week after the equinox – and there were far too many green leaves still on the trees to be really autumnal. Since then, I’ve observed the same little corner of the park time and time again and taken photo after photo.

autumnal scenery

While the skies have varied between bright clear blue and solid grey, the ground has got redder and redder with fallen leaves.

autumnal scenery

But, from one picture to the next, it’s still more or less the same, and I’ll admit, I’m getting a bit fed up with it.

autumnal scenery

So it was fun yesterday to go out in the snow, to get on a train, and to see the first genuinely winter landscape of the year.

snow scene

There finally seems to be no doubt that Persephone has withdrawn to the Underworld and left us to fend for ourselves for the moment.

This piece was written for the Samhain section of “Turn of the Wheel” so is technically a little late. But the change in the weather makes me feel it’s appropriate to post now.

Hymn to the Maiden

Beloved Lady,
rest, now, and gather your strength.
Withdraw to the halls of your Lord,
where the flowers are cold crystal
and the walls glisten black.
Rest, now, and gather your strength.

Beloved Lady,
rest, now, and gather your strength,
safe in the halls of your Lord,
where the sound of the hammer and anvil
rings out like a bell.
Rest, now, and gather your strength.

Beloved Lady,
rest, now, and gather your strength,
deep in the halls of your Lord,
though your mother wanders above
bewailing her loss.
Rest, now, and gather your strength.

We await your return in the springtime:
come to us then, decked in green;
bring us joy and new life,
bring us proof of renewal.
Rest, now, and gather your strength,
beloved Lady.

 
Find out more about the Modern Pagan Prayers project.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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